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Fee-Based Programs – a New Business Model for Uncertain Times

Guest blog by Deborah Walker, Director for Library Strategy at the Markham (ON) Public Library. Deborah can be reached at Website: Municipal budget pressures are increasing. Traditional revenue streams, such as overdue fines, are flat-lining or in decline. There’s uncertainty on many levels – how resilient is print vs. ebooks? Is digital content […]

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What Can A Library Do?

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with Dan Rasmus on uncertainty and the future(s) of libraries. Picking up on a question he posed, and reframing it somewhat, I would ask that we consider these questions (an interesting exercise for senior staff perhaps). If I was a mayor or city manager, or […]

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About the Competitors

Wandering down the streets of Washington. Thinking about libraries and competitors, for time, for service, for convenience. Saw this place. Makes you stop and think. Busy, and still in business…

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Why Do Librarians Avoid Management?

Ask any beginning class of LIS students how many want to be managers and leaders in the field and you will be delighted if four or five respond affirmatively. This is largely a lack of interest coupled with a notion of managers being inherently evil. Alternately, and in my view even worse, some do not […]

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McDonalds as Third Space

Guest blog by Daphne Wood, director of planning and organizational development for the Vancouver Public Library. Why are we invisible? Much emphasis is placed on public libraries’ role as a safe, welcoming and non-commercial “third space.” And as the impacts of densification increase in urban centres, personal space is at an all-time premium. High-rise condos […]

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What Are Your Scenarios Depicting Different Futures for Libraries?

Guest blog by Joseph R. Matthews and Peter Hernon Joe Matthews is library consultant with JRM Consulting Inc. <> Peter Hernon is professor emeritus at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Increasingly there are discussions about the relevance of libraries to their communities, parent institution and organization. Planning focuses on that relevance, […]

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Billions and Billions Served

Guest blog by Daphne Wood, director of planning and organizational development for the Vancouver Public Library. The latest entry into mass-market publishing is serving up more than books…and offering more food for thought. According to the October 9, 2013 edition of Advertising Age, McDonald’s was poised to become the top North American book publisher for […]

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Managing the Union/Employer Partnership

If you haven’t seen this video, you should: Our Public Library It is very well done. It is professional, engaging, focused, supportive. For the most part. It states the case for the Toronto Public Library succinctly and forcefully and will no doubt be helpful in rallying support for the City’s library system. In less than […]

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Content in the Digital World

Guest blog by Scott Hargrove, director of IT and support services for the Fraser Valley Regional Library, and a presenter on digital competition at the Future of Libraries Institute. In a previous blog posting (2013 11 25), I noted the incredible growth of non-traditional competition that libraries are facing in the digital era. At the […]

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Move Forward or Sink?

Guest blogger Scott Hargrove, Director of IT and Support Services at the Fraser Valley (BC) Regional Library reflects on the future of the institution and of the profession. Do we move forward or sink? Thirty years ago, libraries were the dominant player in the information industry, with limited competition including the media, professional analytical firms […]

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