Friday, February 07, 2014

OLA SuperConference 2014


It was a unique experience attending SC as OPLA President, due to having a number of meetings and other official duties to which to attend.  I didn't go to as many sessions as I typically would have, but feel the experience was as valuable (if not more) in different ways.  I feel like I did more networking than usual, and felt more open to chat with people.

Videos, ppts, interviews and more are available on the SC14 Web page here.  I have included direct links to relevant session material below.

Provincial Inter-Ministerial Public Library Discussion Forum (organized by AMPLO)

  • Ministry (health, aboriginal affairs, culture, citizenship and immigration, training/colleges/univs) staff talked about the vast array of work they do -- many of their goals align with TBPL's strategic goals
  • Ministry staff were made aware that public libraries need support (financial / training for eg) when asked to "do things" for them
  • met the CEO/Chief Lib. from Six Nations Public Library -- learned TBPL is somewhat unique in extending services to FWFN
  • some things to consider:
    • collaboration with Youth Employment Centres for things like employment programs, economic development, innovation centres, maker spaces, tech hubs
    • check out the "Ontario Online Institute" which has been developed in response to trend to online learning of all kinds

Nina Simon opening plenary

  • from Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
  • "the outcome depends on the invitation"...(eg. square white paper w. golf pencil vs. octagonal coloured paper with full pencil)
  • re the haters:  "bless and release"
  • incredible revolution wrt interactive art/history
  • I ordered her book for TBPL
  • see interview with Nina Simon online here

John's Session on Community Led Libs

  • see interview with JP online here
  • "proportionate universalism" -- some peeps need more services than others
  • "not an easy road to travel -- but revolution never is"
  • equity is more important than excellence...we need to let go of the feeling / notion / idea of upholding *good* Culture...similar idea to Nina Simon re the museum
  • the purpose of the PL is SOCIAL CHANGE

Collection HQ User Group Meeting

  • good to meet other users face to face
  • interesting presentations about how other peeps are using
  • talk of a listserv / more regular meetings

Jennifer Keesmaat, TO City Planner

Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel:  The Status and Future of Canada's Archives and Libraries

  • was part of presentation with OLA Board

Public Library Awards

  • presented the following awards:
    • OPLA James Bain Medallion:  Public Library Board Member of the Year to   Joyce Cunningham, Fort Frances Public Library Board
    • OPLA Lifetime Achievement Award to Anne Bailey, Toronto Public Library
    • Special Recognition Award, Rudi Denham, long-service HoOPLA Editor
  • met the Ontario Minister of Culture

David Usher Plenary

  • focus was on creativity
  • can't wait for perfect conditions to "be creative" b/c there's no such thing
  • collect ideas from outside your comfort zone
  • creative collision will occur...I have felt that!!!  (when mulling over a problem for a while, then the solution comes to you...)
  • light bulb moment is only the beginning
  • ideas are important but they need structural support -- who is your "structure" / team?
  • creative thinking is a tool you can use in all areas of your life and work
  • interview

OLA Board Governance Committee Meeting

  • am part of a working group looking at how the organization is governed
  • ties in with OPLA's work on TofR this past year
  • will be relevant wrt TBPL's systems review


  • chaired the Annual General Meeting of OPLA

Copyright Update

  • ppt is online here
  • I have been to Margaret Ann Wilkinson's sessions in the past, and as usually she blew me away with her intricate knowledge of copyright (both Canadian and International) and how it applies to Libraries
  • TPM = technological protection measures (similar to DRM)...aka "digital lock"
  • for licensed databases your contract with the vendor takes you must negotiate with the vendor what you want to see...maybe we need more work on this, so we know what our contracts say about copyright

Library as Startup

  • slides online here
  • nice tie-in / parallel with Logic Model we are using at TPBL
  • kind of like the scientific method applied to business...or your library
  • "Customer Development" 
  • Key concepts:
    • Value Proposition
      • how a product or service creates value
      • what problem are you trying to solve and what is the result / impact?
      • may be different value for different peeps / segments of peeps
      • what problem are you solving for whom?
      • libs are good at describing/listing services but not at communicating their value
      • eg. not "we have 20,000 Fiction Books" -- but..."we have CHOICE!"..."we save you $"..."we can help you find your next fave book"
    • Build / Measure / Learn
      • feedback loop
      • *read "The Lean Startup" (ordered for TBPL)
      • constant adjustments / learn and tweek from experience
      • and start again
      • need to move quickly through the loop
    • MVP:  Minimal Viable Product
      • doesn't have to be perfect to be rolled out
      • try it / tweak it / improve
      • eg. of "lemonaide stand" vs traditional reference desk
    • Pivot
      • like in bbal...when you can't move anymore, change direction (based on what you know...and keep one foot planted
      • might need more than one pivot
  • best ideas come from nothing
  • you have to get outside your building
  • build smart, but build
  • MJ and Helen (presenters) are holding a "Startup Weekend:  Library Edition" in Toronto at the end of March.
  • worked on a "Maker Space" scenario and discussed how to approach as a startup (have handout with questions to consider)

Misc notes: