I (Carol) enjoyed meeting and reconnecting with colleagues from other libraries, including my carpool partner, Elizabeth Novicki.

And I (Hu) had never attended the NC LIVE conference! It was great hanging out with Carol and Elizabeth, and learning more about NC LIVE ebooks, Summon, and podcasting in libraries!

Hu at NC LIVE

Rob Ross, Executive Director of NC LIVE, kicked off the conference with an insightful presentation on the value of librarian and libraries in addressing fake news/junk science. He discussed Pizzagate and the scripted editorials of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. He also cited  Pew study that found librarians to be a highly trusted group by the public, reminding us of our importance to communities by providing access to vetted information sources. It was a moving introduction to the keynote by Katherine Skinner of the Educopia Institute. Her keynote focused on Libraries as Open Knowledge Institutions, citing examples of NC libraries who are working creative and valuable access and preservation projects! She also talked about “Boundary Spanning Leadership” (from the Center for Creative Leadership) and the value of getting outside our comfort zones when it comes to doing great things!

Carol at NC LIVE

The most valuable part for me was a presentation about common pitfalls in strategic planning. The presenters were inspired by the work of David Maister and this essay. Maister’s work emphasizes that businesses (or libraries) often know what they need to do, just as a person who wants to lose weight already knows they need to eat less and exercise more. The challenge is truly making the required changes to reach this goal – and sticking to them long-term.

Neither Maister nor the presenters raised the possibility that you may have more than one goal and that your goals can compete. For instance, if we made serving students our #1 goal, and directed literally all of our resources to that end, then we would provide poorer service to faculty.

Lately I’ve been thinking some about collection management strategies we could undertake in the next few years to support the larger goal of renovating the Reynolds Wing. If we can agree on a common “north star” principle for the collections part of that effort, it should make the smaller decisions a little easier.

NC LIVE 2018 Annual Conference