Yep, We Have Them!

April 8, 2010

iPad E-Board

At 5:30 pm EST, NCSU Libraries will begin circulating iPads as part of the Technology Lending Program.  As part of the launch event 5 students will be blogging their experiences using the iPads as they take them to their classes, do their work, and generally goof around the web over the next week.   They are blogging about what they find on the University homepage:


Through the Looking Glass: Future Business Challenges for the Academic Library by James G. Neal, Columbia University

Thinking about the experience we have had this week, the metaphor is Alice through the looking glass, us wondering if we could pass through the other sic and experience the business side of libraries. Having experiences with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee through time, played chess with the queen, etc. We spent the bulk of our week talking about strategy, change, culture.

Librarians in the academic environments need to be aware of the business challenges that are facing the university and the library.

Holy cow do we have a lot to think about!!!!!!!! There are many shifting values in the library and we need to use our tools and abilities to change the culture and to personalize the library experience.  Many of the core services and products of the library will remain, but will need to be integrated to provide a more self-service experience for patrons.  James Neal provided us with 30 action items or ideas that libraries need to focus on in the future and now.  Most focused on technology and building more digital services and a robust digital environment for patrons.  The prevailing message, at least to me, from his presentation was that libraries need to become partners, owners and stakeholders in many of the changes and new services and technologies that are occurring.  We need to step out of our traditional circles of influence and look for collaborations and partnerships in places where at one point in time we may not have belonged, but now it is necessary for our input, skills, resources, and talents.

A Hard Lesson

May 29, 2007

I have received a lot of email from friends, former co-workers and colleagues about this. I really don’t have much to say about what happened. I received the same letter that the other 89,852 people received. I don’t know the details of what, why, when, how, and who; and I am certain that I don’t want to know more than what is written in the letter and what is posted on the university website.

All I can say is that I feel this is very unfortunate. There is a lot of good work happening in that library. The librarians teach many classes, do charity work for the university and the community and the library is gradually implementing new and innovative services for patrons. Unfortunately, until this dies down, no one is going to remember or hear about any of these things.

I also think that this incident is a chilling reality check for other libraries. Something like this can ruin any goodwill or credibility that the organization has within and outside the institution. We ask our patrons to trust us with private, personal information; whether it be their name and address, or their circualtion history. The take home lesson from an incident like this is to take a hard look at our IT security and ensure that this doesn’t happen at another library.