December 3, 2013, 5:33 pm
If I paid you to study in the library you would likely take me up on the offer. And if I paid you and your group to study there together, then you would definitely use the library more often.
Thatâ€™s the gist of a recent economics study: Letting Down the Team? Social Effects of Team Incentives
This research was conducted while I was at UCSB. I gave the faculty access to a large group study space (50+ chairs) in order to conduct their experiment. They tested incentive reactions in two environments: a library and a gym.
They found that while individuals took advantage of the pay to study here opportunity, incentives tied to team performance resulted in strikingly greater participation:
â€śPeople in two real-world settings raising their effort level because a teammateâ€™s payoff is at stake. Findings indicate that the magnitude of this effect can be considerably larger than that …
November 15, 2013, 7:31 pm
I just gave a campus interview about our GLASS project. Here is the gist of my answers in long form.
Giving a campus interview. I’ll link out once the video is online.
Iâ€™m really excited to be involved with GLASS. Itâ€™s an interesting technology and wearable computing seems to be one of the next big things.
I love what Virginia Tech is doing by building a cohort of faculty who are using GLASS in different ways and representing different disciplines. Arts, sciences, building construction, public policy, itâ€™s a wide mix.
And it is exciting for me to represent the library in that effort because I get to work hand in hand with faculty on rethinking their teaching and research practices. We want to build new apps together, new software together, new pedagogies, new capabilities. So it is valuable for me …
November 13, 2013, 9:29 pm
A friend of mine once remarked that Jack Kerouac judged diners solely on the quality of their apple pie. Apparently you can infer a lot about an establishment based upon the size, presentation, and taste of this classic dessert.
When it comes to libraries and bookstores Iâ€™ve always used a similar measuring device: Hermann Hesse. Most libraries have the classics (Steppenwolf, Siddhartha) but what really impresses me is seeing lesser-known (and in my opinion better) novels like Beneath the Wheel and Demian. And the pinnacle for me is Narcissus and Goldmund. To me this is his masterpiece.
As superficial as it sounds, I use to think that I could tell a lot about a libraryâ€™s collection based upon these works. I liked to think that it revealed something about the libraryâ€™s intellectual curiosity and that it suggested something about what else might be found in the stacks. I guess…
September 18, 2013, 5:09 pm
I was tweeted into a conversation about assessment and I wanted to take a minute to comment. Elliott Shore (ARL) recently called for a radical change in library assessmentâ€”with the gist being a move from descriptive to predictive. I’d like to push it further into the realm of innovation-generation.
I tried to contribute my part to that conversation at last yearâ€™s Library Assessment Conference with a paper Too Much Assessment, Not Enough Innovation. I wasnâ€™t booed off the stage, but I definitely felt avant-garde compared to the mainstream assessment crowd. But of all the papers Iâ€™ve written recently thatâ€™s my favorite one because I enjoyed digging deeply into places like PARC and Bell Labs.
Anyway, twitter isnâ€™t ideal for long-thought sharing so Iâ€™m dashing this off over lunch. Iâ€™ve been reading the October 2012Â issue of Fast Company (yes, Iâ€™m a bit behind)Â and…
January 14, 2013, 3:17 pm
I saw that there was a session at midwinter talking about focus groups. Since I wonâ€™t be there I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts. I donâ€™t have the original announcement, but I was disappointed with the phrasing. It asked something like are focus groups effective? I would prefer a conversation around how to use focus groups effectively.
I have found thematic conversations with various user (and non-user) segments to be an important component of my discovery strategy. Focus groups often get knocked because of three main things: loud people dominate the discussion, people tend to tell you what they think you want to hear, and people canâ€™t imagine breakthrough change. Those are all legit criticisms, however, if you plan according you can neutralize those issues.
Students working through an…
October 22, 2012, 1:08 pm
In seven days Iâ€™ll be giving a talk on R&D for academic libraries but here is the enhanced version of the conference paper. This is a follow-up (actually a sequel) to Think Like A Startup. I described the intentions of this paper last month so Iâ€™ll save us all from repetition. The key point is that assessment programs should be engines for change seeking progress not sustainment.
I reread the paper on Saturday and the thing that stood out was how much content I had to cut in order to get it into the ballpark of the conferenceâ€™s word limitations.
If this paper is too long for you (or if you think assessment is boring) then at least go watch Dan Pinkâ€™s Ted Talk. The part about â€śfunctional fixednessâ€ť is critical and it highlights the potential tunnel vision we can develop preventing us from empowering the evolution of libraries.
Another key point is the need to…
September 26, 2012, 2:43 pm
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter then youâ€™ve heard me talk about the paper I was writing over the summer. Itâ€™s for ARLâ€™s Assessment Conference and at one point it was over 14,000 words.
It was probably one of the most challenging things Iâ€™ve written because of time (3 months) and space (5,000 word max) limitations. The background reading was amazing; I skimmed 30 books and read nearly 50 articles, blog posts, and reports. I immersed myself into R&D culture. And sadly there was so much material I couldnâ€™t use and even worse, so much material that I just didnâ€™t have time to read.
I had two objectives with this paper:
- I wanted it to be a follow-up or sequel to Think Like a Startup. That paper resonated with a lot of people, so my working title was â€śoperate like an R&D lab.â€ť I took the section about assessment and gave it itâ€™s own platform. I…
July 23, 2012, 3:48 pm
Iâ€™ve been thinking a lot about caterpillars lately. I read the Very Hungry Caterpillar to my son every night and it always makes me think of organizations going through transformative change.
Whatâ€™s fascinating to me isnâ€™t just the physical transformation that occurs. Obviously sprouting wings and becoming more colorful is amazing, but the internal composition changes too. Their appetites change. Their digestive systems change. But what really gets me is the perception-shifting that must occur. Imagine youâ€™re stuck crawling on the ground and slowly climbing trees, flowers and bushes then suddenly youâ€™re able to fly–to move nimbly. Imagine the cognitive transformation that first day when life is about exploring a much wider universe.
You think ARL will be ok with me citing a childrenâ€™s book? I also want to pitch Willy Wonka as the role model for R&D. That’s for another …
September 26, 2011, 5:24 pm
Weâ€™re working on round two of our graduate student ethnography project. I plan to release the findings in January as a collection of whitepapers. The batch will include themes such as mentoring, collaboration, criticism, and work process. But my favorite thread is the progression from student to scholar. It has been fascinating to review the self-analysis and see how a scholar is defined.
Two predominate qualities emerged: independence & creation.
Some sample quotes:
1. â€śAs you go through grad school at least in English, you begin to develop more into sort of an independent writer and scholarâ€¦. You start thinking more in terms of Iâ€™m making a book length argument that has to be interesting vs. Iâ€™ve gotta write this short argument that I think is what my professor wants.â€ť
2. â€śAs an undergrad, you were presented with deadlines that were dictated by others. And they we…
May 24, 2011, 12:11 pm
Weâ€™re gearing up for a sizeable renovation and Iâ€™ve been trying to include students and faculty in on the interior design discussion. Iâ€™m planning a full post on the campaign later this summerâ€”most likely after ALAâ€”but in the meantime, I wanted to share this with others working on similar projects.
Iâ€™m a big fan of the design charrette activity. Having used it before, I definitely wanted to include it in my current efforts. Itâ€™s easy to conduct and students always seem to enjoy it as an outlet for creative expression. Itâ€™s also helpful to gather a visual response when talking about learning spaces.
This time around I wanted to conduct the charrette in a very public setting. I wanted everyone who entered the library to see it happening and to have the opportunity to participateâ€”or at the very least to take s look at the renderings and other information that was…