Pre-Conference Sessions

(Jane Dysart, Conference Chair, and Greg Notess, one of the workshop presenters, fuel up for the morning at the breakfast station.)

Today is devoted to half-day pre-conference workshops by noted experts on topics such as Social Tools for Your Library, Mining Blogs & RSS for Research, and Project Management for Libraries. Here is a brief report by Pat Feeney of Unisys Corp., who attended one of yesterday’s workshops:

What’s a career librarian whose degree from Drexel is over 35 years old doing spending the afternoon at a pre-conference workshop on "Service Strategy: Getting the Right "Mix" of Services?" Hasn’t she figured what that correct mix is by now?! Well, after numerous reorganizations at her company and now working for her 4th manager since January, this newly solo professional decided it was the right time and place to take a fresh look. And Rebecca Jones of Dysart & Jones Associates and faculty member of the University of Toronto’s School of Information Studies delivered, as she always does, an energetic and informative way to evaluate, or in my case, re-evaluate how it is we spend our days, and how to present a description of this activity to our management, speaking in business, not library terms.

All librarians are service driven people—we don’t do what we do for the money—we do it because we enjoy helping people. But, in a business environment, no service exists just because someone wants to deliver it. The service organization, in our case, library, must have a service strategy that supports and complements the strategic direction of the parent company. Welcome to the world of Robert Cooper’s risk-reward bubbles and the Boston Group’s matrix analysis grids. Rebecca made clear that going through the rigorous exercise of creating a service portfolio can be time well spent for the librarian with the dusty degree as well as for the librarian, also in the audience, whose degree is just 4 months old!

The workshop was definitely time well spent—thanks, Rebecca.

Look for more contributions by Pat, who will be a "guest blogger" during the conference–Thanks Pat.

Don Hawkins
IL2006 Blog Coordinator and Columnist, Information Today

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