Much could be made, I suppose, of the news today that Stephen Abram, who has been the public face of SirsiDynix for many years and chief innovation officer inside the company, is leaving SirsiDynix at the end of the year.
But before you start reading between the lines, both Stephen and company representatives assure me that he wasn’t fired , didn’t leave under any duress, and his departure should not be viewed as a bad sign about the industry or a bad omen about the company.
Rather, according to Stephen, it was sheer magnetism. He simply found the opportunity to work with one of the world’s largest content aggregators and information service providers irresistible. Starting in January, he will lead strategy development at Gale Cengage.
When I met with Stephen earlier this month in London, he had–as always–some interesting and passionate things to say about libraries in the current environment. Though it could not have been planned, his remarks seem an appropriate way to end our state-of-the-industry coverage.
Stephen Abram on market conditions: Nostalgic views of what libraries are, need to “go away.” In order for libraries to remain, they must change. It is a transformational era. There are fundamental shifts taking place. It’s no longer about search and retrieval, but experience. Libraries must examine what they do for today’s information users and adjust to the now. Library skills are valuable and should be applied in new ways.