When I started at the American Library Association in 1987, I was given a copy of Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation (Free Press, 1985) to read because, well, change was happening. It was then, it is now, it will be tomorrow. New uses for technology drive change, as does the extent to which people of all ages, particularly younger digital natives, access information online.
Transforming Libraries: A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers, by Ron Starker, begins with the premise that libraries are at a tipping point in the evolutionary process, from being book warehouses to serving as centers for collaboration and learning. Starker analyzes issues that are changing libraries, including their historical context, the specific challenges each faces, and the range of resources and references available to address them. For example, if a library wishes to help increase its community’s musical intelligence, what tools are required? How could it build a studio for recording or rehearsals, for example? Issues addressed include censorship, information literacy, marketing, building design, and implementing the changes to move a library forward. EdTechTeam Press, 2017. 306 P. $24.97. PBK. 978-1-945167-30-0. (Also available as an ebook.)
In Reengineering the Library: Issues in Electronic Resources Management, George Stachokas assembles 15 essayists to present best practices on the delivery of digital resources. The essays primarily concern the academic library, but topics such as licensing and cost containment affect libraries of all types. Licensing issues addressed include new uses of the vast bodies of text available for data mining, accessibility requirements, and open access. Electronic resources management is much more than creating access tools; it might encompass evaluation, technical and reference support, and promotion of the tools available, which calls for teams with diverse skill sets. Some of the practical measures presented include using LibGuides to enhance the awareness of electronic resources, measuring usage with statistics, and managing the discovery services that help library users access the riches. ALA Editions, 2018. 336 P. $79. PBK. 978-0-8389-1621-6.
Starker posits that the new value of libraries is their role as centers for learning, and Stachokas notes that, in academic libraries at least, electronic materials are the most heavily used. Melissa N. Mallon, in The Pivotal Role of Academic Librarians in Digital Learning, focuses on the important role that librarians play in building a learning environment and demonstrating their value to the institution’s educational mission. Mallon examines aspects of the librarian’s job that are most directly part of the educational process in academia. She explores ways to collaborate with faculty to build critical thinking skills and integrate digital resources into research processes. She also addresses providing instructional support to different groups—undergraduates, commuter students, distance learners, and professional-degree students on campus only on evenings or weekends. Libraries Unlimited, 2017. 150 P. $50. PBK. 978-1-4408-5217-6. (Also available as an ebook.)
Instituting the changes required for advancing digital learning requires management, whether the project is large or small. Project Management in Libraries: On Time, on Budget, on Target, by Carly Wiggins Searcy, provides a road map. Using formal methodology from the Project Management Institute, Searcy presents an iterative model adapted to libraries. She also addresses the skills necessary to select the proper tracking tool or plan a meeting that will help attendees contribute meaningfully to a project. She breaks out elements of each phase, covering information gathering, deliverables, budget, and the schedule for the initiation stage. ALA Editions, 2019. 136 P. $54.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-1719-0.
Future-Proof Your Team, by Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, is the first in ALA Editions’ new Leadership Planners series of workbooks for structuring a planning process. Hakala-Ausperk starts by urging readers to “plan to know what’s going on” and moves them through steps to determine where their team should be going. She then addresses how to remove barriers to change, persuade reluctant staff members, and involve the community. ALA Editions, 2019. 64 P. $19.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-1770-1.
Many guides, apps, and paper planners are available for enhancing personal productivity, and the current hot method is bullet journaling. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future, by Ryder Carroll, details Carroll’s productivity approach, which involves making bulleted lists of commitments, plans, tasks, and thoughts that can be structured into daily and future planners and indexed into a set of collections dedicated to a project or activity. The point is to quickly record what has been accomplished and what needs to be done. The book also includes sections on goal setting and assessment. Penguin Random House, 2018. 320 P. $26. 978-0-525-53333-7. (Also available as an ebook.)