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Do Library Managers Need to Step Up?

In yesterday’s National Post newspaper, columnist Rick Spence quotes leadership expert Bruce Tulgan (see his books: It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss, Not Everyone Gets a Trophy, It’s Okay to be the Boss, and Managing Generation X) on “under-management”. Tulgan defines under-management as a state in which leaders consistently fail to provide what he calls […]

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Human Resources

In the October issue of the Harvard Business Review, Peter Cappelli asks some simple but striking questions. He is focused on HR neophytes, but I doubt that most HR professionals in your organization could answer these questions. This is especially critical as more and more line managers take on significant HR responsibilities. So ask your […]

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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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How to Win Friends… Not

Over the past couple of weeks I have once again been accused of being negative in these blogs and disparaging of librarians. I prefer to think of myself as a critical friend. Indeed, my credentials border on stellar in advocating for this profession over 40 years so I don’t think that I am simply negative. […]

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Can This Profession be Saved? Should This Profession be Saved?

I am growing increasingly concerned about the future of this profession (librarianship). We have so much to offer yet we actually seem to be the problem to survival. First we morphed into the “information professions.” Then “information professionals” whatever that means. I am not sure how information became a profession. Sure, the term “librarian” carries […]

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The Future of Libraries: Do We have Five Years to Live?

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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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Betting on the Book

This guest blog is written by Steve Coffman, Vice President, LSSI. He can be reached at or 707-206-5425. Mr. Coffman expressed these views at the Future of Libraries Institute in Vancouver in November. Get over it. The library is about books. Celebrate it. Exploit it. Don’t abandon it. Post-Print Futures? It has become a […]

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Changing Key Language in a Collective Agreement

Outdated collective agreement language that inhibits change was raised as a major problem by a number of administrators at the Future of Libraries symposium recently held in Vancouver.   Several participants, however, mentioned that their library systems had managed to negotiate changes to major changes to their collective agreements.  The following is a case study […]

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Future of Libraries Issues

During the two day summit last week in Vancouver on the Future of Libraries so many issues emerged, and so many thoughtful responses. I note here some of the issues but guest bloggers will contribute more context and elaboration, even a few answers, over the next few weeks… The future is not what it used […]

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