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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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Do We Need Different Revenue Streams?

Marc Andreesen (he of web development fame) outlines the most obvious eight business models for the news for now and in the future, as reported by Justin Fox in this month’s issue of The Atlantic. It occurred to me when reading these, that libraries are also looking at different models of raising funds, but not […]

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Trends for Libraries

At the recent Future of Libraries institute in Toronto, Gary Price ( provided an overview of trends that could lead to opportunities for libraries and librarians who want to have greater community impact and profile. Gary is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area, and editor of […]

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What is Your Brand?

There are many ways of looking at your brand, from an identifiable term, logo or phrase to a specific feature that makes you unique from others. At the recent Future of Libraries institute, leading directors discussed their unique value proposition in a community or academy (beyond pandering, glad tidings and clichés) and their “brand”. […]

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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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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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Learning from Millenials

Yes. We were hacked. A posting went out late last week from a group named “ESO Gold” that had no text and no workable links. It happens. We think it is fixed. Sorry for any inconvenience. And thank you to all who informed us. I just keep on learning, from the millenials. Maybe we have […]

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

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