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Strategic Planning

L i n k i n g

C a n a d a s

I n f o r m a t i o n

P r o f e s s i o n a l s

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October 2012 Vol. 58 No. 5


Table of Contents

Volume 58 Number 5 2012

Kelly Moore


Theme: Strategic Planning

Guest Editor: Nancy MacKenzie
Liaison: Elaine DeBonis

Judy Green

Copy Editor
Jennifer Jarvis

Layout & Design/

Review Coordinator
Beverly A. Bard
Member Communications Advisory
Committee 2012

Guest Editorial

Strategic Planning: You Frame it, it Frames You

by Nancy MacKenzie

Elaine M. De Bonis, Convenor; Gerry Burger-Martindale,

Nicole Eva, Todd Gnissios, Patrick R. Labelle

Theme Features

Published since 1956 by the Canadian Library Association

6 times per year as a membership service to CLA members
in good standing. Volume 1, No. 1 to the present issue is
available on microfilm from CLA.


Indexed in the Canadian Index and Library Literature and

available online in the Canadian Business & Current Affairs


Deadlines are as follows:



Dec. 14
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Advertising Space
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Acceptance of an advertisement does not imply endorsement

of the product by the Canadian Library Association.
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Fax: 613-563-9895

Library Strategic Planning: Voyage of

Starship Enterprise or Spruce Goose?
by Jim Morgenstern & Rebecca Jones

Imagine, Fail, Learn, Grow: Failcamp as a

Planning Tool at Markham Public Library
by Megan Garza

Process Mapping for Teamwork and

Knowledge Sharing
by Allison Sivak & Katherine Koch


Strategic Planning: Why Bother?

by Rudi Denham

Threes Company: Leadership in the

Three Spheres of Strategic Influence
by Rajesh Singh


How UTM Library Staff Imagined the Future

and Collaborated on the Plan to Realize
the Vision
by Susan Senese & Rebecca Jones

Advertising, including career ads:

Cover Design: Beverly Bard

Canadian Library Association

P r o f e s s i o n a l s

I n f o r m a t i o n

This months cover image:

Framing the Future> ):
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1150 Morrison Dr., Suite 400

Ottawa, ON K2H 8S9

Strategic Planning

C a n a d a s

The Canadian Library Association

ISSN 0014 9802

Front Cover

L i n k i n g

Judy Green
Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel.: (613) 232-9625, ext. 322
Fax: (613) 563-9895

October 2012 Vol. 58 No. 5

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Guest Editorial
by Nancy MacKenzie

Feature Articles


For Your Eyes Only: Love and Disorder in

Our Domestic Libraries
by Guy Robertson


Herding Cats: PR-Friendly Library Events

with Kids

Strategic Planning:
You Frame it, it Frames You

by Anne Dodington


Librarians as Leaders
by Mike Selby


Presidents Message
How Members See Us
by Karen Adams

From the Directors Chair

You cant afford NOT to be a member of CLA
by Kelly Moore

Editors Column
Time to Celebrate!
by Judy Green


Taking the Lead

Strategic Planning: A Valuable, Productive
and Engaging Experience (Honest)
by Ken Roberts and Daphne Wood


Book Reviews



Index to Advertisers
CLA Executive Council & Staff Contacts

Imagination! Creativity! Risk! Innovation! Courage!

Vision! Leadership! Learning! Rigour! Honesty! Strategic
No reallythese are just some of the words used by
this issues contributors to describe the possibilities of
planning. I think we can all agree that planning is an
important part of any successful venture, whether you are
planning a holiday, your next career move, your retirement
or the future of libraries. So read onthere is something
in this issue for everyone.
If you are looking to create a strategic plan that boldly
goes where no one has gone before, you will find the
article by Rebecca Jones and Jim Morgenstern, Library
Strategic Planning: Voyage of Starship Enterprise or
Spruce Goose? a most rewarding read.
In a bit of a departure from formal strategic planning
strategies, Megan Garza introduces the idea of using
FailCamp as a planning tool. She discusses the role of
creativity, iterative learning, and risk taking in planning in
Imagine, Fail, Learn, Grow: FailCamp as a Planning Tool
at Markham Public Library. Leading by example, Meghan
recounts her personal experience with a failed initiative,
the lessons learned, and how a FailCamp strategy has
been adopted as a useful tool for planning and evaluation.
In Process Mapping for Teamwork and Knowledge
Sharing Allison Sivak and Katherine Koch relay their
personal experience using process mapping, one aspect
of strategic planning, to engage staff and make tacit
knowledge and process explicit in a complicated organizational environment.
If you are still debating whether you need a formal
plan, Rudi Denham from the St. Thomas Public Library
provides cogent reasons for and against in her article,
Strategic Planning: Why Bother?
Guest Editorial continued on page 7

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Canadian Library Association

Presidents Message

by Karen Adams

How Members See Us...

Summer went by quickly, with two teleconference meetings

of Executive Council. While much of our discussion focused
on the need to develop realistic and sustainable approaches
to the Associations operating budget, we also had some
preliminary discussions of the results of the Member
Advocacy Survey that took place over the summer.
We received over 400 responses, most of them with
passionate comments and diverse perspectives. Here is
some of what we learned.
One survey respondent called for the resignation of
Executive Council. Another said CLA has completely
dropped the ball on LAC. Still another said that we were not
decisive. Someone else thought we were too trusting of
LAC and its leadership. We were instructed to be more
firm in our dealings with government. This perceived failure
on our part is the result of our having chosen the path of
engagement with LAC in terms of helping to ensure that the
changes caused by the federal budget cuts minimize the
damage to library services for Canadians. Executive Council
sincerely believes that this is more likely to have a productive
outcome than would result from refusing to engage. LAC is
holding conference calls on its proposed changes over the
course of the fall, and CLA will be there. At the same time,
we are actively expressing our displeasure with cuts to CAP
and to federal libraries to the politicians whose decision to
address the federal budget quickly has caused the problem.
How do you say we think its a bad idea to balance the
federal budget?
Other respondents recognized the difficulty in finding a
balance between advocating with government and creating
fruitful relationships with them. Someone else noted that
LACs and CLAs objectives and goals are very closely
aligned so that there could be mutual benefit in aligning our
messaging and advocacy. Some comments reflected a
need for more communication about what is going on, and
what we are doing, and asked us to consider new ways of
letting members know what we are working on. Executive
Council agrees that this is an area for improvement, and the

Canadian Library Association

completion of the technology renewal project early in 2013

will enable more action on this front. Members arent always
aware of CLAs media appearances or meetings with MPs
and other officials, and you should know about these as they
happen. Another respondent noted that CLA should have a
higher profile, and be more visible in what we do. Someone
asked Is there more space in the budget to hire more
PR/media relations people? Its a big file. This is true,
and is one of the reasons for increasing the institutional
membership fees in 2013, since it is our institutions and the
people they serve that derive much of the benefit from our
advocacy work.
And, some commented on the need for more research
on the impact of library closures. Another comment
referenced the 1998 publication: Dividends: the value of
public libraries in Canada which reported on research
into the importance of public libraries to uers, publishers,
suppliers, and to Canadian culture. As I noted in an earlier
column, former CLA President Alvin Schrader and Michael
Brundin are working on a project called National Statistical
and Values Profile of Canadian Libraries, for publication on
the CLA website later this year.
Support for advocacy was expressed through statements
such as Members and non-members, librarians, library
staff and non-library staff should all be a part of this advocacy
dialogue. Council says, Amen to that sentiment, and hope
that you use the new advocacy toolkit on Budget Cuts to
Federal Libraries to be part of the dialogue.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Lets keep






building discovering



A new approach
to managing library services cooperatively
now with a Canadian data centre

Directors Chair

by Kelly Moore

You cant afford NOT to be a member of CLA

CLA has a new direction. We have a new governance and

professional structure. We have a new mandate from
members. We have a new mission statement to reflect this
mandate. And we have a new fee structure to provide the
necessary financial support for our activities.
CLA members have overwhelmingly driven the recent
changes in our association. There is broad support for a
mandate which requires CLA to be the national voice for
Canadas library communities. All stakeholders in our recent
consultations have agreed that CLA is the body to undertake
critical advocacy initiatives with the federal government on
issues impacting libraries and library services, to represent
the interests of the library community in national-level
discussions with other stakeholders, and to represent the
Canadian library community internationally.
Advocacy and representation rely on long-term efforts,
and are often only visible through occasional progress
updates and ultimately on conclusion of the initiative.
But the unseen efforts are crucial to the outcomes.
To continue to be effective, CLA will:

be present at fora where discussions and

negotiations take place

develop and maintain relationships with MPs,

government department staff, existing and potential
partners, journalists, and anyone else who can
support our cause

gather data and statistics, facts and stories to

present our case

prepare documents and briefing notes for elected

officials, key government staff and media

contribute written submissions to government


communicate regularly with decision-makers,

partners, and stakeholders

Canadian Library Association

provide continuous updates to members on the issues

develop and distribute tools to members to support

specific advocacy initiatives

provide professional development opportunities for

members to learn about the key issues and how to
influence them

coordinate all of these activities through CLAs

Executive Council, Committees and Networks

All of this activity requires money. While the efforts of

our volunteers to support CLA activities is extraordinary, it
must be underpinned by the financial capacity to meet the
hard costs of engagement.
And what if CLA werent taking on these efforts on your
behalf? Would all Canadian libraries institution be sending
delegations to meet with MPs to talk about copyright?
Would all personal members be drafting letters for colleagues
to send to support school libraries?
Does your library use the library book shipping tool
provided by Canada Post through CLA? Nearly 3000 libraries
across the country do. The average package they ship
weighs 1.28kg. With the book rate, they pay just $0.97 for
that package to be sent out and returned; without the rate,
the cost would be $18.00. For small and rural libraries, just
25 shipments saves your library more than the cost of a
CLA membership. Canada Post works with CLA as the
recognized delivery organization for this program. And CLA
has been advocating for many years to ensure that the book
rate continues to be available to libraries. What would be
the cost to institutions to do that advocacy work on their
own? What would be the cost to libraries if they didnt have
the book rate? What would be the cost to Canadians who
would lose that access to information?
CLAs new fee structure reflects our new mandate, and
places more of the financial responsibility on the library,
which stands to gain the most benefit from our activities.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Directors Chair
CLA exists as a collective to do the work that no
individual or single institution can do on its own. Through
the collective strength of our membership, we are able to
accomplish great things: to influence government policy
affecting our capacity to serve our users (think of copyright
legislation); to raise media awareness of the impact of
libraries on our communities (think of Canadian Library
Month); to challenge policies that restrict freedom of access
to information (think of internet filtering); to celebrate those
who capture our imaginations and turn young users into
life-long readers (think of the CLA Book Awards); to engage
the next generation of potential library workers (think of the
Young Canada Works program); to bring the accumulated
wisdom of our disparate parts together to strengthen the
knowledge base of our entire community (think of the CLA
national conference and Feliciter). Our whole is so much
greater than the sum of our parts.
We have a full slate of activities, and there is still much
more that we should be doing much more that Canadian
libraries need CLA to be doing. Libraries need CLAs
collective strength. CLA needs your volunteer energy and
your librarys financial support.

CLA membership is the broadest national representation

of our varied library community. Our members are individual
librarians, technicians, support staff and trustees; libraries
in K-12 schools, colleges and universities; municipal,
government and special libraries; vendors of library
services; and various other organizations that support
our mission. The more voices we represent, the stronger
our single voice will be.
This broad membership is both CLAs biggest challenge
and its greatest strength. CLA cannot represent the interests
of one sector of its members against another sector of its
members. CLA can only represent the ethos and ideals that
the whole membership holds in common. And we have, at
this moment, the opportunity to define that ethos and those
ideals for a generation.
You need to be a part of this. You cant afford not to be.

Guest Editorial continued from page 3

By way of thanks: I could simply thank contributors

for their quick and enthusiastic acceptance of the
challenge and for their insights and imaginative approaches
to what some might say is a fairly dry topicor you could
contact them directly and let them know how you are
using their insights and experiences to make things better
where you are.

Rajesh Singh differentiates between strategic

thinking, strategic planning and strategic execution
and explains the importance of developing strategic
leadership skills in LIS students in his article, Threes
Company: Leadership in the Three Spheres of Strategic
Finally, Rebecca Jones and Susan Senese discuss
why it is essential to develop the collective planning
muscle before beginning a formal strategic planning
processand how to do itin How UTM Library Staff
Imagined the Future and Collaborated on the Plan to
Realize the Vision.
I hope you find these articles as informative, interesting
and immediately applicable as I did. You dont have to
look too hard to find something you can use today,
regardless of where you are (or are not) in the strategic
planning cycle.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Index to Advertisers
Associations, Institutes & Education
American Psychological Association ( ...................... 15, 27
Canadian Library Association ( .................................. 30, OBC
San Jos State University ( ................................ 11
Information Providers
OCLC ( .................................................................................. 5
SWETS ( ......................................................................... 9
Publishers & Distributors
Carr McLean ( ...................................................... 20
Information Today ( .............................................. 18
The War Amps ( ....................................................... 23

Canadian Library Association

Editors Column

by Judy Green

Time to Celebrate!

This October marks the seventh year the Canadian library

community celebrates Canadian Library Month. It has
become the annual event for libraries across the country to
engage their patrons and staff with a variety of activities.
However for the CLM Committee, comprised of partners
from the provinces and territories, the planning for Canadian
Library Month is a year-round activity.
The CLM Committee averages
twenty members in any given year, and
meets by teleconference every six
weeks. Some members, like Norma
Collier from PEI, have served since the
inception while others serve for one to
two-year terms.
In January the Committee meets
to discuss the results of the previous
year (successes and misses) and begins
to brainstorm the new theme for the
upcoming year. Often the group has to
vote for their favourite from as many as
twenty choices. By March the theme is
determined and it is time for the creative
juices to flow. The theme for 2012 is:
Libraries Connect / Bibliothques
branches. The committee jointly
conjures up three concepts for the
poster and bookmark to help the graphic
designer produce mock-ups. Several
sub-committees are also tasked with
preparing the supporting documents
that libraries will have at their fingertips
to use in both official languages.
By April the committee votes for
the mock-up that best graphically
represents the theme. A bit of tweaking
for the logo, poster, and bookmark,
including the special versions for
Ontario (for Ontario Public Library Week)
and Nunavut are finished. Did you know
the bookmarks and posters are available in Inuktitut and
Inuinnaqtun as well as English and French?

Canadian Library Association

The sub-committees work to a June deadline to prepare

the documents for French translation. The printer awarded
with the contract for both the printing and the complex distribution of the 10,700 posters and 280,000 bookmarks
nationwide starts its process, which takes about six weeks.
When the website:
launches in early August, libraries
across Canada begin to receive their
posters and bookmarks to help prepare
for October. CLA also fills requests for
posters and bookmarks from libraries
during August through October. The
website is an excellent resource for
libraries and includes:

ideas to celebrate the month

press release that can be
gallery of previous CLM
contact information for CLM

There is also a new CLM facebook

Now that it is October the work of
the committee is winding up for the year.
The survey will be released during
November and the CLM Committee asks
for your feedback so it can improve for
the coming year.
This hard working team of
volunteers strives to provide libraries
with a theme that resonates, graphics
that captivate and tools that motivate.
Now it is your turn celebrate Canadian Library Month!

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Taking the Lead

by Ken Roberts & Daphne Wood

Strategic Planning: A Valuable,

Productive and Engaging Experience
Engage in strategic planning, or go to a dentist appointment?
Which would you prefer? Unfortunately, the majority of
delegates polled at a recent BCLA conference opted for the
latter. At least at the end of a painful and expensive dental
procedure you leave with a beautiful smile, so the thinking
goes. Perceptions of strategic planning sessions are less
favourable. They usually happen in the summer or on a
beautiful weekend (coincidence?), often involve sticky dots,
and also inspire beautiful smiles of relief and gratitude
when the session is over.
Effective strategic plans are foundational to the success
of libraries. We know we need them. We have to do them,
and we are fortunate enough to have many Canadian
examples that do them justice. For those who have embraced
the planning process and explored its potential, the outcomes are significant: greater transparency, improved staff
and community engagement, and enhanced partnership
potential, to name but a few. Strategic planning, at its best,
is not daydreaming about the future. Nor is it writing a
to do list. Plans that fall flat often lean too heavily in one
direction or the other, lacking practicality or failing to
provide a compelling vision.
Rather than describe what it is not, we will provide a
definition of what effective strategic planning can be:
a systematic process of envisioning a desired future,
and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or
objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.
A trustee of a large B.C. library system explained it like
this: An elegant strategic plan is simple and based on
sound principles. It is the elevator pitch used by staff and
board members when speaking to municipalities, the
provincial ministry, local businesses and community partners,
and even the media. Whats more, our plan is used to full
advantage when preparing for fundraising opportunities.
In other words, it is a powerful tool at your disposal to
advance the mission of your organization.
In our experience working with strategic plans, we
have documented five characteristics of effective planning
processes. You will note that none of them require dots


Canadian Library Association

(although they are useful), and weekend planning sessions

are optional.

Plan is aligned with the vision of your library system:

as a preliminary step, you have a board-approved
vision in place that inspires the organization to
succeed. Your vision can, and should, be succinct.
If staff is to embrace it, make it simple, powerful and
memorable. For example: Our vision is to be earths
most customer centric company; to build a place
where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online (Amazon);
Our vision is to put joy in kids hearts and a smile
on parents faces (Toys R Us).
Plan provides clear direction and focus for trustees,
staff and volunteers: it productively channels limited
human capital and helps triage the multitude of
opportunities available to pursue. Often it is just as
important to state what will stop in favour of what
will proceed. Staff needs to know what aspects of
library service delivery take priority over others,
and community members need to know what they
can reasonably expect or anticipate. This provides
a good segue to the next point.
Plan is ambitious and provides a number of stretch
goals: routine operations rarely feature in strategic
plans. The assumption is that the library system
will continue to deliver excellent service to its
customers while advancing a slate of communityinspired goals. These are above and beyond what
is currently offered, but may include transformation
projects, service reviews, project incubators or
dedicated efforts to better serve specific community
groups (e.g., urban Aboriginals, youth or homebound
Plan creates synergy: it is amazing what can happen
when stakeholders are brought together to work on
a common goal. Diverse viewpoints are encouraged
and are used to test the strength and clarity of the
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Taking the Lead

strategic plan. Once consensus develops and

the plan takes shape, the unique talents and
contributions of library staff and management can
be applied in concert. In the best scenario,
confusion and duplication of effort are minimized.
Clear direction for all is articulated by the plan.
A truly focused library system has greater potential
to succeed than the sum of its parts.
Plan strengthens the library brand and community
support opportunities: libraries tend to shy away
from any association of selling. We offer, we
serve, we make available, and we create access.
The concepts of marketingspecifically social
marketingare more appropriate for our purposes.
We take enormous pride in what we do, and we
appreciate the recognition from our valued
customers. But what about all the potential library
supporters and funders who are not familiar with
our work? The strategic plan can be the most
visually appealing promotional tool in your
organization. It can tell stories about you, your
community and your unique passion for library
services that matter. It can also measure your

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

success, articulate your needs and encourage

others to support your vision. All that, in a pithy
booklet or online format. Ideally both.
You may have noticed we have made no claims that
strategic planning is easy. Or fast. Or inexpensive, in terms
of dedicated staff time. Your management team or your
trustees may prefer to hire the services of a consultant.
You may have the expertise in house, or choose to pursue
a hybrid approach. We cant promise the process will be
painless. But we can assure you that the investment of time
pays dividends. We offer these final words of wisdom from
Anatole France: To accomplish great things, we must not
only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Dream big. Your community deserves it.
Ken Roberts ( is the Chief Librarian
of the Hamilton Public Library, and Daphne Wood
( is Director, Planning and
Development, of the Vancouver Public Library. They share
a passion for leadership research and the practices of
resilient organizations.

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature

by Jim Morgenstern & Rebecca Jones

Library Strategic Planning:

Voyage of Starship Enterprise or
Spruce Goose?
To boldly go where no one has gone before
With apologies to Gene Roddenberry and Trekkies everywhere, thats what strategic planning is supposed to be all
about: going boldly where no one has gone before! Sound
like your strategic plan?
Perhaps not.
Maybe your plan is
more like the Hughes
H-4, affectionately
The Spruce Goose
known as the Spruce
Goose, flown once
So how can you design and execute a
and relegated to a mustrategic planning process resembling the
seum as an interesting
voyage of the Starship Enterprise rather
artifact of aviation
than the Spruce Goose? Consider these
history that never
fulfilled its promise.
Starship - Derived from original photo by James
Strategic plans
Teterenko Wikimedia Commons
Figure 1: Strategic Planning Process
are prepared by
organizations facing significant change and the prospect
of failure if they do not effectively respond to change. You
do not need a strategic plan if you are simply making
incremental changes to your servicesadjusting your hours
of operation, deciding to build a new branch, or improving
your website. You may need to plan for these events, but you
dont need to develop a SWOT or prepare a vision statement
to guide your decisions. (SWOT analysis is a strategic
planning method used to evaluate the Strengths,
Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities and Threats involved
in a project.)
If you believe, as we do, that libraries exist in a rapidly
changing environment and unless they change they will
becoming increasingly irrelevant and ultimately lose public
support and fundingor in the case of academic libraries,
institutional support and fundingthen you need a strategic
plan that boldly envisions a different future for the library
and identifies aggressive, specific strategies to realize
that future.


Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature
Be courageous

Be selective

When used appropriately, a SWOT based on the Situation

Audit and the Environmental Scan is a powerful analytical
tool for future planning. It requires great courage to unleash
the power of this tool by asking penetrating questions and
honestly facing the weaknesses and threats. The Situation
Audit describes the librarys internal strengths and weaknesses, identifying the current characteristics of the library
that are functioning well and that should be retained, as well
as the deficiencies that should be corrected. This part is
easy because it deals with the library that you know today.
Note that it deals with the library, not with the environment
surrounding the library.
The Environmental Scan, on the other hand, deals with
the external environment, describing future opportunities
and threats to the library. This part of the SWOT identifies
the need for changethe threats that will undermine
service if the library does not change and the opportunities
that the library can take advantage of because of a changing
context for service delivery. Many strategic plans fail
because the OT part of the SWOT is poorly done. The
purpose of the SWOT is to provoke a rich, challenging
discussion about the implications of these strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the library.
Frame the SWOT as SoWOT? or so what does this mean
for the library?
Unfortunately, the SWOT discussion often isnt deep
enough, with Opportunities and Threats rooted in the
present and the familiar. For example, it is not uncommon for
libraries to identify partnerships as an opportunity despite
the fact that there is nothing stopping the library from
entering into those partnerships todayand consequently
the failure to do so is a weakness, not an opportunity.
The Opportunities and Threats analysis must probe the
unfamiliar that will affect the library in the future because
of a changing social, cultural, economic and political

The purpose of the SWOT is not to generate long lists of

strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Instead,
the focus should be on those few major influences affecting
your library at the high level appropriate for your strategic
plan. We have never prepared a strategic plan for a library
where the existing staff has not been identified as a strength.
This perception is generally supported by client surveys
that give high marks to library personnel as being friendly,
informed, helpful and resourceful, etc. We dont doubt this
is the case, but unless customer service is going to be
threatened in some specific and major way, it doesnt need
to be a part of the SWOT. If your library intends to continue
to hire staff who do their best to serve the customer, this
is not a big issue for future planning and doesnt need to be
a part of the SWOT. However, if your library has collective
agreements that will place significant constraints on either
deploying or training your staff to meet the new and
emerging needs of the next generation of customers, it is
an issue for the SWOT and needs to be addressed in your
strategic plan.

Be committed
Understanding this future context takes time and some
very solid research. Unfortunately, library boards, senior
management and staff seldom commit the time and energy
necessary to come to terms with a very uncertain, unfamiliar
future. You are going to invest the next three to five years
implementing the plan; it doesnt seem unreasonable to
invest substantial person hours over a period of three to five
months developing the plan.
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Be visionary
A good SWOT contributes to a strong vision. A good
vision statement describes a library that in a number of
significant respects bears little resemblance to the library
that we know today. Many library strategic plans fail in this
regard. The visions do not articulate a preferred future that
is fundamentally different and serves as a long-term target
for the library. The vision is an opportunity to go out on a
limb and think about libraries in a different way. Does your
vision of the future public or academic library have buildings,
and if so are they anything like the library buildings today?
What are librarians doing in these librariesindeed, to
what extent are libraries staffed by librarians versus other
professionals? What type of work are staff performing, and
what skills do they need? Who is using the library and for
what purposesthe same as today, or are library users
dominated by new groups and interests? What services
are available in 2022 that are not available today? What
can you do in the library in 2022 that isnt allowed today?
These are the types of questions that should be answered
in your vision.

Be a leader, not a follower

The research on public opinions and perceptions
demonstrates that most people have a very traditional view

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature
of libraries. The book and now e-book persists as the
brand. Peoples familiarity with innovative services and new
technologies is low, as is their perception of the librarys
relevance in the digital age. Even the most loyal believer
in the value of libraries envisions a better library in the
future, not necessarily a significantly different library.
This is also why planning cannot be driven by public, student
or faculty opinion. In strategic planning the library board and
senior management must lead these opinions, not follow. It
is their responsibility to articulate the vision. Surveys, focus
groups and public meetings are important to understand
users and potential users perceptions and behaviours.
It is up to the library to interpret what these perceptions and
behaviours mean for future strategies and services, and
what challenges they may face when introducing changes.
But libraries must be careful not to map their path forward
based on public or campus input or wants.

Stick to strategydetails to follow

Measure your progress

Your strategic plan charts a course for a changing
library in a turbulent and evolving environment. Like flying
blind in a dust storm, you simply cant know if you are
headed in the right direction without radar. Your librarys
radar is performance measures that are directly tied to your
strategic directions and that are comprehensive, measurable
and meaningful. Too few strategic plans accurately describe
what success will look like or monitor progress with good
performance measures to determine if success is being

Starship Enterprise or Spruce Goose?

Was your strategic planning process effective, engaging
and challenging? Did it produce a progressive, solid plan?
Ask yourself the following questions:


Was your plan well grounded in futures research?

Before jumping into your first strategic planning
workshop, did you take the time to prepare?

Canadian Library Association

The strategic plan has a very specific purpose and is not

intended to address the details that best fit in other plans
and strategies. Your vision and strategies guide all other
complementary strategies and plans, such as the technology
strategy, organizational structuring and marketing plans,
and these must be reviewed for consistency with the
strategic plan.

Did your strategic planning process lead rather than

follow public opinion?
Did strategic planning generate passionate
discussions about challenging and sometimes
difficult perspectives on the future of your library?
Did you seriously talk about the things that you
would let go?
When your strategic plan is implemented, will your
library be fundamentally changed?
Did you significantly reallocate resources to reflect
new service directions or priorities?
Does the plan provide a framework to review and
restructure staff roles and responsibilities to reflect
new functions and ways of doing business in your
As a direct consequence of the strategic plan, did
you update or adopt complementary plans and
strategies to bring them in line with your new vision?
Have you made a commitment, backed by staff time
and resources, to continually track trends, review
research and monitor the implementation of the

If you are vigorously noddingor shoutingyes to

these questions, then grab your Trekkie shirt knowing that
your library is a future-ready enterprise. If you have that
sinking Spruce Goose feeling that your planning process
lacked some rigour, roll up your sleeves, plug yourself into
your community, campus or client organization, and design a
future in which the library truly changes lives. Not supports
livespositively changes lives.
Jim Morgenstern ( is the
Principal at dmA responsible for strategic planning and for
library studies. He has extensive facilitation experience and
has worked with library boards, municipalities and other
public agencies to prepare strategic plans. Jim has worked
with library boards in Ontario and throughout Atlantic
Canada. His main office is and principal residence is in
Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Rebecca Jones, ( MLS, is
Partner in Dysart & Jones Associates specializing in
strategic planning, organizational design and facilitating
decision-making and problem-solving. She is former
Director Professional Learning Centre of the University
of Torontos iSchool and an SLA Fellow.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

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Theme Feature

by Megan Garza

Imagine, Fail, Learn, Grow: FailCamp as a

Planning Tool at Markham Public Library
Failure is the flip side of the creativity coin. When people
are creative, they open their endeavours up to the possibility
of disappointment. Likewise, innovation is encouraged
through the de-stigmatization of failure. Unsurprisingly,
most people have problems talking about personal failure,
particularly in their careers. But by urging librarians to
speak more openly about unsuccessful projects, the
concept of failure is recast as an opportunity. If libraries
could capitalize on the disappointments as well as the
successes of other libraries, the information about initiatives
and best practices in the library profession at large would
be greatly increased.

all FailCamp veterans. They suggested that administration,

the higher the better, should start the sharing process.
Guidelines should be sent to staff prior to FailCamp so that
everyone understands the purpose and what is expected.
And participants should keep in mind that:
FailCamp is a solution-oriented event.
Any failures brought to the table must be theirs
to own.
Criticism should be constructive.
Krista Godfrey suggested there should be a strong
referee to keep participants on task, and Mike Ridley noted
that there is a difference between mistakes and failure.

I havent failed. Ive just figured out

10,000 ways it wont work.
Thomas Edison
Thats where FailCamp comes in. Traditional FailCamp
takes place in a panel format, with participants discussing
projects that havent gone as planned. While the audience
and other panelists are able to provide feedback, traditional
FailCamp in this conference setting is not necessarily intended
to solve problems, but is rather intended as a tool for attitude
adjustment. However, within a single institution, to use
FailCamp without using the failures discussed to address
outstanding problems or to prepare for future initiatives
would be ignoring a valuable opportunity. This is how
Markham Public Library (MPL) has come to use FailCamp
as a tool for planning through (partial) failure.
In preparation to run the first FailCamp at MPL, I
contacted Mike Ridley (University of Guelph), Krista Godfrey
(Memorial University of Newfoundland) and Amy Buckland
(McGill University), all advocates of celebrating failure and


Canadian Library Association

Its a mistake to lose the librarys interlibrary loan requests

with no backups. Its a failure when librarians plan a huge
outreach campaign to the community and nobody comes.
FailCamp is not giving staff carte blanche to do bad work;
its a way to change the way libraries think about losses
and to improve the way that these failures affect the
Organizing FailCamp at the same institution where one
works as opposed to a conference presents some unique
challenges. Rather than having an audience composed of
people who work in similar roles in the profession, there
may be people from all levels of service involved. The
content of FailCamp may have certain implications about
their performance, even though that is not the intention. If
higher levels of management say an initiative failed, it may
be interpreted by staff as a deficiency on their part, rather

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature
than on the part of those who did the planning or of the
content itself.
Unlike the relative anonymity of a conference,
participants will be familiar with the issue being presented.
This shouldnt be a comfortable experience, but its difficult
to make FailCamp a safe environment when the subject may
have had an impact on the other people in the room. This
is why the Markham Public Library Charter of Failure was
created. The Charter of Failure is an agreement between
colleagues and administration that outlines how failure
will be handled. It promises that failure will be owned
collectively as an institution, the library will treat each
failure as an opportunity for learning and there will be
no retribution for failures that occurred in the name of
innovation. It also discusses the process used to handle
each situation and how to determine what should happen
going forward.

Failed FailCamp
The first FailCamp we ran at MPL could probably use
a FailCamp of its own. Originally, 45 to 60 minutes were
allotted for the exercise. MPLs CEO, Catherine Biss, was
completely behind the idea and was thrilled to share her
failure with staff. An email was sent out to staff explaining
FailCamp and asking them to bring something to share.
The session took place before a larger meeting involving
librarians, managers and administration, which was
intended to resolve some of the issues anticipated as a
result of running FailCamp with the entire staff.
Unfortunately, the session didnt go exactly as planned.
The time assigned for FailCamp was reduced to 15 minutes
due to constraints on the rest of the agenda. Catherine was
delayed, so the first failure on the docket was my own: a
botched childrens program. Not exactly the big guns. The
brave staff who participated presented failures similar to
mine, and although the result was therapeutic, it wasnt
quite the revivalist fervor that I had anticipated. Happily, the
final segment of the session saved the day: a discussion
about what failure means to the staff, which eventually
became the Charter of Failure. While all staff might not have
experience with a major fiasco, everyone has ideas about
what it means to them to fail.
My main oversight was the presumption of introducing
FailCamp to staff who havent yet had the opportunity to fail,
myself included. I was so excited by the concept that I didnt
consider whether it was entirely meaningful for the group
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

involveda common theme in FailCamp. This exercise

may be more relevant if it begins with management before
expanding to include more staff as leadership opportunities
and initiatives develop.
Nevertheless, simply because something didnt work
exactly as expected doesnt mean that it wont work. Though
MPL FailCamp didnt appear successful at first, participants
reported how much they had enjoyed it. Managers continued
to use the 15-minute FailCamp as an exercise before training,
meetings and planning sessions as a way to begin discussion
on a certain topic. At first, the brevity of these continuing
FailCamps seemed like a flaw, but FailCamp seems to have
evolved to fit the needs of the library as a planning tool.
The overall format is simple:
1. Admit failure.
2. Discuss the intention.
3. Talk about the process.
4. Identify the fail: what could have gone better?
5. How can this be applied to future attempts?
6. Applaud!
This format is delivered via a conversation between
the person who wishes to air their failures and a referee,
with frequent pauses to solicit feedback from the audience.
It is the referees job to record key ideas and to keep the
discussion focused and flowing well. FailCamp sessions
have begun to be posted on Yammer, MPLs social network,
as a way to engage all staff in the discussion. By taking past
initiatives to FailCamp, managers find that new proposals
have more traction with staff because it is clear that
administration is willing to admit when plans have failed
and is trying to rectify those previous experiences through
meaningful staff engagement.
Andrea Cecchetto, Manager of Learning and Growth
at MPL, recently brought a committee structure that she
developed to FailCamp. She talked about the intentions
behind the structure and why she thought it failed. Staff
were asked for their opinions on why the committees had
been beneficial, what hadnt worked, and how theyd like
to continue to work in the future. Together, Andrea and the
librarians in the audience identified the warning signs of
failure in internal structures and, ultimately, this conversation provided a gateway to the introduction of a staff-led,
project-based structure.
Despite what has become of the failed FailCamp, the
more traditional FailCamp hasnt been disregarded entirely.
As a result of this new project-based work plan, Markham

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature
Public Library is launching a host of new strategies that will be
led by librarians. Traditional FailCamp will be one of the tools
used to evaluate these various projects as they progress.
Running FailCamp at the beginning of strategic planning
and as an evaluative measure will give library staff access
to a wider range of data. This includes information about
how the initiative was received by both the public and staff,

which are of equal value to the success of an initiative in

an institution. Amy Buckland, of McGill University, stressed
the value of running what she calls a postmortem right
away. Its imperative to figure out why a project didnt work
and if it needs to be fixed or discarded.
Libraries should be committed to learning from failures
to create a positive environment in which both success and
failure can thrive. Markham Public Librarys
motto has long been Imagine, Learn, Grow.
Now, failure is a natural part of what the library
strives to accomplish as an institution, so at
FailCamp we say Imagine, Fail, Learn, Grow.

The Internet Conference and Exhibition for Librarians and Information Managers

October 2224, 2012

Monterey Conference Center
Portola Hotel & Spa | Monterey Marriott
Monterey, California

Megan Garza (

is a second generation librarian working
at Markham Public Library in Markham,
Ontario. While she started at MPL as a
Childrens Services Librarian in 2008, she
is currently trying the role of Acting Branch
Librarian on for size. Storytime is still where her
heart is, but she dabbles in a bit of
everything including ebooks and failure.

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Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature

by Allison Sivak & Katherine Koch

Process Mapping for Teamwork and

Knowledge Sharing
During the spring and summer of 2011, the University of
Alberta Libraries participated in a strategic planning
process to define the research library in its role supporting
research, teaching and learning for our campus of over
38,000 students. One area of the Libraries that has seen
much change has been public services. These changes
include the shift from separate reference and circulation
desks to a single service desk, on which librarians and
public service assistant staff are cross-trained in the
general functions of reference for research, circulation
and technology. The Libraries have enjoyed some success
with embedded librarianship services, where subject
specialists hold office hours within their liaison department
or faculty, to meet the user where she or he works. These
examples of newer, innovative service models supplement
more traditional activities, including single-session library
instruction and collection development, for example.
Working with consultants George Needham and Joan
Frye-Williams of, the Libraries public
services staff undertook a process of thinking about our
usersand the implications for library servicesin new
ways. This article will focus on just one aspect of the
strategic planning process: process mapping. Process
mapping, as we have used it within the University of Alberta
Libraries, looks to make the procedures within our major
functions visible by visually mapping all the steps involved
in those functions.
Why is the visibility of our processes or procedures
important? There are a number of reasons for needing to
see the librarys major functions clearly. One major reason
relevant to the University of Alberta Libraries is that large
research libraries are organized around discrete departments in which staff perform specific functions.

A simple process
Consider one of the most basic functions of a library:
the pathway of a print book through a library system.
The book is selected, received, paid for, catalogued,
shelved, borrowed, renewed, returned, reshelved, and
possibly weeded and placed in storage or deaccessioned.
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

These different steps may be completed by staff in collections,

access services, technical and bibliographic services,
financial services, and public services. As this print book
winds through five different units, do the staff in each have
an understanding of what happens to the item before and
after? Does the organization as a whole know where there
are delays at any stage, and how those could be mediated?
Is every step in the books pathway necessary to get the
book out to users? Can we reconfigure steps in the process
to free staff time for other work?
The visual mapping process is quite simple in practice.
Two facilitators join an all-staff meeting to carry out the
mapping; one facilitators role is to draw the map as parsed
out by the group, and the second takes notes (particularly
for parking lot steps that are important and require future
investigation and resolution, but are not integral to the
specific map). The group begins by naming the starting point
and an end goal for the process. From there, a facilitator
draws the flow of the steps and alternative steps that hinge
upon particular decisions or situational factors. Importantly,
the facilitator keeps the group talking and focused through
asking the simple question, What happens next? This
encourages staff to think through the next step and to speak
up when they see something missing, as well as commenting
when they see a step they had not realized was a part of the
Libraries employ operational systems that have developed
over decades of incremental change. Changes in our
operations, both major and incremental, may be influenced
by many different factors: new technologies and software,
shifts in our staffing, the impacts of offering new services,
and organizational restructuring, to name just a few. Further,
as libraries are large and complex organizations, changes
made to one part of a system may not be followed down the
line of library procedures. Process mapping is a technique
that makes visible the pathway of a person or object through
the librarys systems. By doing so, it makes some tacit
knowledge and process explicit, proving very useful for
those who do not thoroughly understand all aspects of a
particular process.

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature
Unlocking potential
Process mapping can help staff identify where confusion
exists about the path of an object or person through our
complex systems, as well as illuminating where delays or
bottlenecks exist. It can show where we currently connect
with another unit or area of responsibility, as well as where
we could connect to make processes more efficient. We
also found that it can have some unexpected benefits for
new staff in a public services unit.
We employed process mapping at the Coutts Education
Library at the University of Alberta to enable our staff to see
our public services clearly. The Coutts Library was facing a
staff situation in which new librarians and a new unit head
had begun working with associate staff who had been at
the library for many years. The public services staff faced
the challenge of developing together as a team, when
staff members had different levels of knowledge of current
systems and of the history of particular decisions. Having
new team members provides an opportunity to bring
together that knowledge, and to discuss where processes
work and where they could use revision.
An advantage of group process mapping is that it
creates a situation in which everyone around the table is
paying attention, as they all work to create a picture of
how a library function works. This collective attention also

encourages staff to speak when they disagree, when they

dont understand, or when they wish to confirm that a
process is indeed working well. Sometimes staff will jump
to an analysis of whether or not the process as mapped
is working and will suggest change; we noted these
suggestions in the parking lot in order to stay focused on
depicting the whole picture, rather than branching off into
individual process tweaks.
The Coutts Education Library experience with process
mapping was extremely positive in terms of sharing knowledge between continuing and new staff members. The staff
will use some of their observations to determine specific
training needs for the unit and will be working their way
through the maps and parking lot items in order to make
changes in a holistic way in their public services functions.
We suggest that this method would be helpful for many
libraries, particularly when staff need to understand what is
happening in functional areas, and why.
Allison Sivak ( is the Assessment
Librarian at the University of Alberta Libraries.
Katherine Koch ( is Head of the Coutts
Education & Physical Education Library at the University of

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Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature

by Rudi Denham

Strategic Planning: Why Bother?

Why not?

Major change factors

Many libraries have operated successfully for years, even

decades, without undertaking a formal planning process.
They have achieved their goals, met the perceived needs of
their stakeholders, and increased their services and budgets.
Libraries in smaller communities or institutions may assume
formal planning is only for large organizations or large
libraries. Strategic planningwhich can be defined as a
review of current and past performance, an assessment of
possible short-term impacts, and a plan for creating the best
possible futurecan be a rigorous process. It may require
significant investment of resources, including staff time and
consultants fees, or both. The result of the process may
be a glossy flyer that is impressive but too high level to be
useful, or a lengthy document that proves to be too ambitious,
or too unrealistic, and ends up gathering dust in a drawer.
In fact, for all libraries there are good reasons for not doing
strategic planning. It should not be undertaken if, for whatever reason, implementation is unlikely. At a time when the
major players are changingfor example, if an election is
forthcoming or if the CEO is retiringit would be advisable
to wait for a more stable time to start planning. Furthermore,
if the municipality, university or parent body is itself in the
middle of a major plan, it is best to wait till the overriding
visions have been established.
One reason not to undertake a formal planning process is
if your organization is stableif there has been little change
in the population, the demographics or the economic
conditions of the users served. Another reason would be
lack of commitment from the major players. If, for example,
the library CEO, the board chair or the majority of the
stakeholders are indifferent to the idea, theres little purpose
in pursuing the process.
When considering whether your library or community
is stable, it is important to recognize that society itself is
characterized by constant and rapid change. Consequently,
can any library consider itself to be in a stable environment?

In addition to local change, such as the loss of a major

employer or funder, society as a whole faces transition in
the following ways:

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Many libraries, public libraries in particular, are facing
increasing competition from other providers of services,
such as e-books and the Internet, childrens programming,
rsum help and services for newcomers. Although this has
been true for some time, libraries are increasingly feeling
the impact, as they are facing growing competition for
funding from their parent bodies and other granting

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by the

problems of today that we forget the promise
of tomorrow.
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1959
Rapidly changing technology is having a significant
impact in many ways. Not only are libraries incorporating
more diverse technologies, but a library may have to
redefine the services it provides, and even what defines
a library. In this age of virtual content, what defines a

Library users and their expectations are also changing.
Expanded immigration is creating populations with higher
percentages of non-English speakers. In addition, the
population is aging, living longer and staying more active,
mentally and physically. Traditional users, often the core
group of users of a public library, expect libraries to provide

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature
traditional services such as print copies of books,
storytimes, book clubs and reference services. Power
users, often young, are experienced and comfortable with
technology and expect library staff to be as knowledgeable
as they are. They expect 24/7 service in a diverse range of

Financial constraints
In a globally unstable economy, we are witnessing tuition
riots in Quebec, major library cuts at the federal level,
devastating budget reductions for libraries in the
United States, and reduced funding from Canadian
municipalities as they struggle to maintain zero increases
while supporting higher service costs and aging

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought

to go from here? asked Alice
That depends a good deal on where you want
to get to, said the Cat.
I dont much care where said Alice.
Then it doesnt matter which way you go, said
the Cat.
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865

The world is getting smaller, and a decision made on the
other side of the planet may have local impact. Best
practices used elsewhere may also impact locally. A
municipality may be developing or strengthening trade
ties with China, which may result in a high demand for
information on Asian markets and culture. Already many
universities have international liaison officers. Libraries
themselves are global systems.

Keys to success
The important part of the plan is the process, not the
document. A planning process may be as simple, or as
complex, as the individual organization. There are several
approaches to consider. Creating the Future Youve
Imagined1 recommends that the board and staff establish
visions and that staff develop strategies with public input.


Canadian Library Association

The Public Library Associations Planning for Results2

suggests establishing a community committee that will
develop strategies for board and staff manipulation and
According to PLAs New Planning for Results3 the steps
in a strategic planning process include:
Prepare: planning to plan
Imagine: identify the possibilities
Design: inventing the future
Build: assembling the future
Communicate: informing the stakeholders
Implement: moving into the future
Visionary statements such as the following, from the
University of British Columbia Librarys Strategic Plan 2010
2015, provide inspiration and a framework for action for
staff, and confidence for current and potential funders:
Develop user-centred spaces and services to
promote informal learning, study and reflection,
collaboration and dialogue.
Be a leader in developing and promoting open
access and open source methods and tools.
Planning costs include staff time, costs for a facilitator
or consultant, distribution and copying costs, in addition to
any resources required for implementation. To keep costs
down, it may be possible to ask an experienced individual
from another organization in the community, such as
the Chamber of Commerce, or from another university
department, such as someone in the business department,
to assist as facilitator for one or two of the planning
meetings for your library, without paying them more than
an honorarium. Copying and distribution costs can be
minimized by focusing on electronic formats.
A successful strategic planning process should involve
all the key players: the Boardwhose role it is to set
direction; the staffwho will implement the plan; and stakeholders and userswho will fund and benefit from the
strategic directions. Goals must be clearly defined, realistic
and measurable. It is important to develop strategies that
create public value, are politically acceptable, technically
workable and ethically responsible.4
A successful plan is one that is well built, with room
for the unexpected, according to Jennifer Evans, Director
of Nova Scotia Provincial Libraries. Its also important to
celebrate the successes and achievements along the way.
It was fun to tick off boxes when goals were achieved,
she says.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature
Benefits of planning

Other Planning Resources

Strategic planning is not the same as long term planning,

which has a narrow focus, and tends to build on the past.
Strategic planning takes a wider view, and may provide an
opportunity to forge an innovative partnership, or develop a
creative initiative.
At the end of a formal process, a clear mission
statement will define for your staff and your users why
you exist. The current strengths, weaknesses and potential
opportunities and threats are clearly identified and analyzed.
A strategic plan is a key management tool, which targets
spending to identified priorities, provides a clear vision of
the librarys future which will motivate staff and inspire
donors, and develops a clear roadmap to guide action.

John M. Bryson, Strategic Planning for Public and

Non-profit Organizations, 4th ed. (San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass, 2011).
Joseph R. Matthews, Strategic Planning and
Management for Library Managers (Westport,
Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2005).

Sample Plans
Haldimand County
King Township
Kitchener Public Library
Nova Scotia Libraries
University of British Columbia

If you dont know where youre heading,

youre likely to end up somewhere else.
Yogi Berra
Many organizations think that they can move forward
by doing what they always did, but better. In the face of
societal change is it time for libraries to shift focus? Is it
time for libraries not simply to accommodate change, but
to shape the future?

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Rudi Denham, ( Chief

Executive Officer of St. Thomas Public Library, has worked
in public libraries in three provinces for over 30 years.
She is a regular contributor to professional journals, and
long-time editor of the Ontario Public Library Associations
electronic newsletter Ho-OPLA.

1. Creating the Future Youve Imagined: A Guide to
Essential Planning, a library development guide,
Southern Ontario Library Services, 2007. Available from
2. Sandra Nelson, Strategic Planning for Results (Chicago:
American Library Association, 2008).
3. Sandra Nelson, The New Planning for Results:
A Streamlined Approach (Chicago: Public Library
Association, 2001), p. ix.
4. Thomas E. Plant, Strategic Planning for Municipalities:
A Users Guide (Union, ON: Municipal World, 2008), p. 37.
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

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Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature

by Rajesh Singh

Threes Company: Leadership in the

Three Spheres of Strategic Influence

Strategy is probably one of the most overused words in

organizations, to the point where it can become almost
meaningless. Ive come to the conclusion that leaders
should not think of strategy as an isolated phenomenon,
but more as an interrelationship among three spheres of
influence they need to consider for real organizational
change and growth: strategic thinking, strategic planning
and strategic execution. When it comes to strategy, you
could say that threes company instead of a crowd.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question:

In which of these three spheres of strategic influence
do leaders struggle the most? Do they struggle more with
encouraging strategic thinking in their organization,
planning the strategies to implement, or executing the
chosen strategies?
If we think critically, we will find that strategic planning is
not much of a struggle within most organizations, including
libraries and other service-oriented information organizations. In fact, staff retreats and other similar brainstorming
sessions to create strategic plans are almost de rigueur
these days. Most of us can recall such meetings, and
we might also remember that we spend most of our time


Canadian Library Association

on tweaking already existing strategic plans in order to

complement any new goals or insights that have come up in
the interim. We then derive some satisfaction that we have
done our duty for the year in order to remain strong and
Few of us realize that we have left strategic thinking
and strategic execution by the wayside, thus missing the
opportunity to innovate and increase the competitiveness
and effectiveness of our organizations. In a 2006 study done
by the American Management Association, it was found
that that the most important competency for a leader is
the ability to develop strategy (which requires strategic
thinking). However, only 4% of leaders were found to be
strategists when leaders were examined at all levels in
organizations (Horwath 2009). Strategic execution, however,
isnt the black hole it used to be, thanks to Kaplan and
Nortons introduction of the Balanced Scorecard concept
in 1992. Today, most organizations are aware that poor
execution of strategy creates a performance gap.
Consider your organization, whether it is a library,
information organization or a unit providing a service: when
was the last time you and your colleagues were provided
with professional development programs specifically geared
toward strategic thinking and strategic execution? The
fact is, many libraries hire an outside consultant to create
their strategic plan. I argue that this approach creates a
disconnect that negatively impacts the long-term effectiveness of an organizations strategy. Instead, we should teach
our LIS students the skills they need in order to think, plan
and execute strategy effectively in a holistic manner.
What is needed is significant restructuring of leadership
and management course curriculum in library schools in
order to incorporate the conceptual issues related to the
three spheres of strategic influence: strategic thinking,
planning and execution.
How can we develop these leadership skills and
competencies in our LIS graduates?

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature

Strategic thinking versus strategic planning

While certainly not obsolete, strategic planning has
long since fallen from its former pedestal as a magic bullet
guaranteeing organizational success, and is considered
more of a necessity for organizational effectiveness. But
even now, few people fully understand that there is a
distinction between strategic thinking and strategic planning.
Strategic planning can be defined as the channeling
of business insights and intuitions into an action plan to
accomplish the goals and objectives of an organization
(Horwath 2009). However, the label strategic planning has
erroneously become an umbrella term for all aspects of
strategy development within an organization.
Strategic thinking, in contrast, is an abstract concept
that we cant just reach out and touch, and that makes it
much more complex and challenging to define and teach.
Strategic thinking could be defined as the generation
and application of business insights and intuitions on a
continuous basis to achieve competitive advantage. It
involves intuition, creativity and insight. A key distinction
between strategic thinking and strategic planning is that the
former should occur on a regular basis, as part of our daily
activities, while the latter usually only occurs at discrete,
prescribed times, such as on an annual basis. Ideally,
strategic thinking is an ongoing mindset that can be
developed by continually seeking and sharing creative
business insights into our organization that can lead to
competitive advantage (Horwath 2009).

Strategic execution
Strategic execution is an emerging concept that is
starting to get attention as a key component of organizational strategy. In contrast with strategic thinking and
planning, it involves everyone in the organization, can be
time-consuming, and requires both a short- and long-term
focus. Strategic execution can be defined as all the
actions necessary to convert strategy into success for
creating competitive advantage (De Flander 2012). Strategic
execution is a leadership skill that fosters a culture of
collaboration, great communication, empowerment,
accountability and performance management in an information organization. In Jim Collinss best-selling book, Good to
Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others
Dont, he concludes that it is not strategy alone that can
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

separate the good from the great, and that strategic

execution is also a key factor. In a similar vein, research
from Robert and Kaplan indicates that organizations with a
formal system for strategic execution have a two-to-three
times better chance of success compared to those who
dont have such a system.

Developing strategic leadership skills in

LIS graduates
In order to accomplish strategic change that will have a
positive and long-term impact on the information profession,
I consider it important to develop strategic leadership skills
in our LIS graduates. Its time to revisit the leadership and
management curriculum in LIS schools and think critically
about how we can develop the skills of our graduates so
that they can become skilled in leveraging the three spheres
of strategic influence within their organizations.
This may seem like a daunting task, but I have learned
that if you provide appropriate structure, background
information and support, students will rise to the challenge.
My students are asked to create a strategic plan for a
library, archive or information organization. They do this
project in a collaborative fashion, just as they would do in
the context of a real organization. They are asked to do
environmental scanning, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses/
Limitations, Opportunities and Threats) and gap analysis, in
addition to creating a vision, mission, goals and objectives,
by adopting the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
Relevant and Timely) goal approach. They are also asked
to create a budget, timeline, performance management
plan, action plan and contingencies. In sum, this daunting
collaborative assignment helps students develop their
various leadership skills and competencies for strategic
thinking, planning and execution in addition to improving
their team management, conflict management, negotiation,
collaboration and communication skills.
The success of this approach has been evidenced in
feedback from students. When choosing the products of
their studies to highlight in their capstone portfolios, their
completed strategic plan is one of the most frequently
chosen products.
Students comments tell the story:
It was a huge challenge and learning opportunity
for me as a team leader. My team faced many challenges,

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature

including managing the information from our collaborative

research, developing the written content of our plan as
a group, and finding ways to improve an already highfunctioning and well-funded library. We turned our
challenges into opportunities for innovation, with great
success. Having honestly acknowledged our strengths,
weaknesses and interests, we were quickly comfortable
with presenting new ideas and collegially disagreeing with
one another. The end result was a truly original strategic
plan, a sleek, professional presentation, and the satisfaction
that we had lived up to our namethe Awesome Action
The principles and concepts related to administration
and management of an academic archives department were
learned during a group project I was a part of to develop and
present a strategic plan to our board of directors. Although
the actual institution and board were fictional, the storming,
norming and performing steps taken during the project were
the most effective in teaching me how to work in groups,
find my own strengths, and rely on the strengths of others
to complete an arduous task. We were responsible for
identifying and evaluating a need, proposing a budget and
timeline, and defending our plan during our presentation.
My confidence in my ability to apply the strategic plan
exercise to practice is high because personal leadership
abilities were discovered and developed as well as trust
in others and the final product.

Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the
Leap ... and Others Dont (New York: Collins, 2001).
Jeroen De Flander, Strategy Execution Heroes: Business
Strategy Implementation and Strategic Management
Demystified (Brussels, Belgium: The Performance Factory,
Rich Horwath, Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building
Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart
Action (Austin, Texas: Greenleaf, 2009).
Robert S. Kaplan & David P. Norton, The Strategy-Focused
Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive
in the New Business Environment Boston: Harvard Business
School Press, 2000).
Rajesh Singh ( is Assistant Professor
in the School of Library & Information Management at
Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. He has taught
leadership and management courses for several years, and
actively pursues management related research.

In house
In my opinion, a good leader must be keenly aware of
the three spheres of strategic influence: strategic thinking,
strategic planning and strategic execution. If we can offer
the right mix of theory and practice in teaching leadership
and management courses, we can help our LIS graduates
become skilled and strategic leaders in their own right
rather than having to outsource for such talent. I argue
that for the long-term success of information organizations
and the LIS profession, it will be important to have those
leadership skills and talent on board with us. Who better
to advocate for our profession and our organizations than
our own future professionals?


Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature

by Susan Senese & Rebecca Jones

How UTM Library Staff Imagined

the Future and Collaborated on the
Plan to Realize the Vision
The librarians and staff of the University of Toronto
Mississauga Library recently completed a year-long
planning and futures visioning exercise that culminated
in the drafting of the new Library Academic Plan 2012-2017.
At the UTM Library we have long had a commitment to
staff learning, one that was fully integrated into the annual
planning process in 2005 with the establishment of the
Library Learning Development Committee. Since its inauguration, this staff-led committee has annually planned and
implemented a years worth of experiential learning activities
for all library staffeverything from a Web Learning 2.0
program to sessions on Classroom Management Techniques
and Dealing with Difficult Behaviour. In 2009, an annual
day-long retreat for all library staff was added to the learning
plan. The 2010 staff retreat focused on the practice of
scenario thinkingan exercise that had the participants
imagining the library in a variety of different futures using
the Association of College & Research Libraries futures
scenarios. The activities that took place during this staff
retreat served as an introduction to futures thinking and
laid the foundation for the next years Learning Development
Planan exciting year spent envisioning what the future
might look like in 2017 for the UTM Library.

Futures Ready: preparing to plan

From the outset, the senior leaders at UTM Library knew
that they wanted an innovative futures planning process.
They felt a traditional planning process would result in a
traditional plan. Yet the future for higher education and
libraries that is unfolding before us is anything but traditional.
For a plan that would maintain the librarys position as a
critical contributor to UTM, we relied on a carefully designed
approach that would continue to align the library with UTMs
directions and optimize the ideas and insights of all staff.
This approach demanded a broad-based 10-month project
with two distinct phases, Phase 1: Futures Ready and Phase
2: Futures Planning.


Canadian Library Association

For all staff to fully participate in envisioning and planning

the librarys future, they needed to be ready. Planning
is a process that, to be done properly and deliver quality
results (a practical, progressive plan), relies on specific skills,
different types of thinking and rigour. We wanted everyone
to have the planning muscle to actively, confidently
contribute, and the Learning Development Committee seized
the opportunity to build the 2011 Learning Development Plan
as the exercise program for building this muscle.
The Learning Development Plan incorporated a variety
of Innovation Intensive events to build competencies
for futures planning. These ranged from weekly videos
streamed in the staff room over lunch for staff to view and
discuss, to more formal lunch n learns with researchers,
faculty and students invited in to talk about their research
projects and activities. Its important to keep in mind that
we asked them about how they approached their work and
steered away from asking them about the library. Our goal
was to understand their behaviours and preferences, and
then for library staff to discuss these and interpret how best
to underpin these behaviours. The Learning Development
Plan also included workshops (Critical Thinking Workshop;
the University of Guelphs Innovation Bootcamp, etc.) and
informal monthly sessions to which all staff were invited
to update each other on their work and projects and just
basically get to know each other better. Using Blackboard as
the communication venue and repository for all Innovation
Intensive documents, videos, links and discussions provided
a double-pronged opportunity: to use a platform that already
connected all staff, and to build everyones familiarity with
the e-learning backbone used by faculty, instructors and

Futures Planning: standing in the future

One of the essential elements of planning for the future
is to scan the broader environment, identifying signals,
events and trends that may impact the organization. The
Futures Planning Phase was led by a cross-functional

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Theme Feature

Coordinating Team (CT) whose members held different levels

and different types of roles as well as different years of
experience to bring together varied perspectives and
perceptions. They were also the voices of their functional
areas and work groups, keeping the lines of communication
open about the planning with their work teams, and they
helped manage the overall project. The CT organized all
staff into Exploration Groups, and each Exploration Group
scanned one of these eight areas: teaching behaviour,
learning behaviour, technology, content, economy, political
scene, global education, and academic research. Over
three to four weeks, each group investigated its topic in
the media, blogs, journals and videos to identify emerging
signals and trends to be factored into the librarys
Their findings were discussed at the first of two all-day
staff sessions. At the Context Setting Session, staff surveyed
and deliberated the top trends in each topic and their
implications for the library. They then identified what, in
view of these implications, the library needed to consider
changing, stopping or continuing in the future. Equipped
with these rich insights, the CT drafted a future scenario for
the library. This draft was sent to all staff in the pre-work for
the Drafting Our Preferred Scenario session to give them
time to consider and adjust prior to the session discussions.
The pre-work also asked them to draft their own preferred
One of the most engaging parts of the session was
when staff stood in their ideal future. This methodology,
referred to as idealized design or standing in the future,
has been used by Dysart & Jones Associates and many
organizations for years. It is based on the knowledge that
the more actively and physically people are engaged in
design, the more details they can visualize; and it is the
details that bring a design to reality. Those details include
the problems and the barriers. The more barriers groups
define, the better they can build contingencies and barrier
busters into the plan. At one point, one of the library
technicians spoke of her draft scenario so eloquently,
passionately and descriptively that she received a welldeserved standing ovation. By the end of this second staff
session, the CT had a draft future scenario that had been
remodelled and detailed by many voices, eyes, opinions
and experiences.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

2017 Future Scenario

The final outcome of the Futures Ready and Futures
Planning phases and the two day-long retreats was the
development of the draft 2017 Future Scenario. A full years
worth of discussion, visioning, condensing and debating
was distilled down to a two-page scenarioa description
of how we want to look, operate and partner with our
academic community in 2017. This vision of our library in
2017 would guide the development of the librarys five-year
Academic Plan.
Before the writing of the Library Academic Plan could
begin, however, we needed to test our Future Scenario
with our community to see what resonated with them and,
perhaps even more importantly, what didnt. The Coordinating
Team set about a series of individual and group meetings
with our campus community to discuss the 2017 Future
Scenario. Meetings were held with the the key leadership
team on campus, with the deans and chairs of the academic
departments, and with our various advisory boards.
Additional meetings were held with the Dean of Research,
the Dean of Graduate Students and the Chief Librarian of
the entire University of Toronto Library system.
Response from the various groups and individuals was
extremely enthusiastic, with many questions and comments.
Perhaps the biggest compliment has been the campus
acknowledgment that we are great partners and collaborators committed to enriching the student and faculty
experience. Pitching the 2017 Future Scenario to our
community was an opportunity to discuss their needs and
expectations with our vision of how we could partner with
them for greater successhow we saw ourselves evolving
in the future. The interviews and discussions were carefully
scheduled to align with the drafting of the departmental
academic plans, which was also underway, in order that
the academic departments could incorporate our service
offerings into their plans and vice versa. Comments and
ideas from these interviews were then incorporated into
a final draft of the 2017 Future Scenario.
The 2017 Future Scenario was critical to the development
of the Library Academic Plan 2012-2017, the final phase of
this planning odyssey. The Library Academic Plan has to
be both broad enough to frame goals for the next five years
and detailed enough to drive the development of all of the
librarys annual goals and objectives for the next five years.

Canadian Library Association


Theme Feature
and project management leadership. Susan is a senior
leader in the library for the past six years and previously
spent nineteen years with ExxonMobil Canada in various
roles from business research librarian, corporate archivist,
electronic documents management analyst and b2b internet
services manager.

Armed with the final 2017 Future Scenario, once again the
library staff broke into planning groups. Five teams were
created based on those developed during the Futures
Planning stage: experience spaces, integrating resources,
enriching research, boundless learning, and the team.
These teams have been able to draft a Library Academic
Plan 2012-2017 that will enable the library to achieve the
vision articulated in the Future Scenario.
Envisioning and planning our future togethera
collaborative, consultative, inclusive process from start
to finish.
Susan Senese ( leads the
Research and Information Technology Services mandate
within the University of Toronto Mississauga Library.
She is responsible for the following areas: public and staff
computing, emerging technologies, collections, scholarly
communication, digital research services with an emphasis
on digital humanities, the library website, digital signage,

Rebecca Jones, ( MLS, is

Partner in Dysart & Jones Associates specializing in
strategic planning, organizational design and facilitating
decision-making and problem-solving. She is former
Director Professional Learning Centre of the University
of Torontos iSchool and an SLA Fellow.

Selected Contributions to Feliciter 1995-2009
The reviews are in
I recommend this for libraries which have collections on library science already on their
shelves, or staff collections promoting professional growth and development. It is useful
for those wanting to browse through a wider range of library-based articles, and for those
wanting to find a little professional enlightenment through serendipity. This book has the
capacity to inform and enlighten library and information professionals with interesting
stories, hidden gems and thought-provoking points.
Alison Fields, Senior Lecturer
Information and Library Studies, Open Polytechnic Kuratini Tuwhera,
LIANZA The New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal
Written in an easy and, at the same time very informative style, the articles made me
think that the book would be a great preparation for many tests and examinations for
those taking on the wonderful world of librarianship.
Jean Orpwood
ELAN Ex Libris Association Newsletter
Discover for yourself why Guy Robertson, highly respected Feliciter columnist, for the past 16 years, continues to delight and share
his unofficial wisdom with readers. Order your copy at: online at at Shop CLA or

UNOFFICIAL WISDOM, Selected Contributions to Feliciter 1995-2009

Guy Robertson
ISBN: 978-0-88802-334-6 Publisher: Canadian Library Association Price: CLA member: $26.95 (non-member: $29.95)


Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Feature Article

by Guy Robertson

For Your Eyes Only: Love and Disorder in

Our Domestic Libraries
Lisa moves at the speed of light, or so it seems. She is
everywhere at once in the corporate library she manages in
downtown Vancouver. Her fingers flash across keyboards
as she fields conference calls on her headset. Her staff
marvels at her ability to meet the information demands of
hedge fund managers in London and financial analysts in
Hong Kong. Every morning her research reports and updates
on weather trends, oil prices and gold mines zip across time
zones to four continents. She is unstoppable.
Lisa is 40-ish, a graduate of the University of Toronto,
and generally considered one of the Canadian library
professions outstanding practitioners. She is a brilliant
public speaker, the author of a dozen fine articles in
investment magazines, and the owner of a new BMW.
And she has a secret, something that she has not revealed
about herself until now, and only under the condition of
strict anonymity.
Simply stated, she owns large quantities of hardcopy
books and other printed matter. Her upscale condo
(2 bdrms + den / 1 bthrms / view) is crammed with
thousands of volumes loaded onto creaking shelves.
There are books stacked in corners on windowsills, books
in closets and behind sofas, books from floor to ceiling.
I havent catalogued a single title, says Lisa. I dont
intend to. I love coming home to this great big comfortable
mess. Its like the penthouse in the Tower of Babel.

The lure of the sofa

Lisa believes that her fellow information professionals
would not approve of her book accumulation habits and
haphazard domestic librarianship. In an age of e-books she
is aware of the risks involved in adhering to old-fashioned
Younger librarians can be very judgmental about these
things, she says. Many of them wouldnt understand my
desire to hang out in bookshops and buy the hardcopy items
that really appeal to me. I have nothingabsolutely nothing
against e-books. In fact, I use an e-book reader at my
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

There is always room for another volume. The more you cram
onto a shelf, the less space there will be for dust to settle.

office, and take it with me when I travel. Its one of my

sources of work-related information. I couldnt do without it.
But when Im in the home library that occupies every room,
I want my old hardcovers and paperbacks. I want to stretch

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Feature Article
out on a sofa and read something that doesnt appear on a
screen. Im not setting a bad example and Im not breaking
any laws. Im doing nothing more than people have been
doing with pleasure for centuries. And if my condo shelves
are chaotic, so what? My office shelves are in perfect
Lisas boyfriend Derek has come to accept her hardcopy
habit. A corporate lawyer and heavy reader of history and
biography, he not only condones but also feeds Lisas habit.
Were co-dependent in the best sense, he says.
Librarians are supposed to devote themselves to tidiness
and control, and you wont find any of that at Lisas. I can
relax here. I really like her place. Ive told her that once she
runs out of space for books, we can start using my house
for overflow. We will never be bored.

Lisa is not alone in her preference for hardcopy books.
Other librarians share her affection for shelves that rise
to the ceiling and groan with heavy loads. Many of these
librarians are near the end of their working lives, or retired.
For example, Rhonda has worked for almost 30 years at
special, school and college libraries in Metro Toronto.
A widow, she lives alone in a little house that reminds her
friends of a second-hand bookshop. There are shelves in
every room; a shelf in the pantry contains what Rhonda
calls extras: dozens of paperbacks that she has found in
yard sales and thought she might like to read in future.
Im a dedicated reader, but I doubt that I could ever get
through all of the books in my house, she says. But I enjoy
the serendipity of coming across a book that I forgot I had,
or a book that I read years ago and want to re-read. I like
being surrounded by books. Thats why I became a librarian.
I suppose that by current standards Im out of date, but once
you reach my age you dont care so much about what other
people think.
Rhonda does not believe that age necessarily determines
whether a librarian will be a hardcopy fan. She speaks of
the young info-science crowd who visit her occasionally.
These are recent iSchool graduates who spend their
workdays online and carry laptops everywhere. At Rhondas,
however, they relinquish their technology and browse
through her collection.
Its not true that younger, tech-savvy librarians despise
hardcopy titles, she says. I think what were seeing is the
formation of a new and misleading stereotype here. She


Canadian Library Association

Shocking disregard for ergonomic standards. But cosy.

denies that frequent use of technology will prevent anyone

from enjoying hardcopy. As an example, she mentions
one of her 20-something friendsa school librarianwho
accesses daily news and technical reports online, but who
in her spare time devours Westerns.
Why anyone reads one Max Brand title after another,
I do not know, says Rhonda. She wont read them on a
Kindle, either. They have to be second-hand paperbacks
with cracked spines and maybe a coffee ring on the cover,
the sort of thing you pick up for a dime at a church bazaar.

Swedish equipment
Rhonda suspects that her friend could become a hardcopy accumulator if shes not careful. Recently they went
shopping together for shelves at IKEA. They walked past the
attractive, dark wood bookshelves that would suit a front
room, and selected heavy-duty shelving that holds tools and
cleaning supplies in a basement or garage.
A big collection demands sturdier shelves, preferably
with extra bracing, says Rhonda. You can paint them if
you want, but I dont bother with mine. When theyre loaded
with books, you dont see the shelving so much. My Western
-reading friend agrees. She bought a big shelf for her
apartment, and now she has room for all of those Max Brand
titles. I guarantee that shell return to IKEA next year to buy
another shelf. Gradually her apartment will fill up.
To a hardcopy addict, there will always be more books
to acquire. One does not have to be a collector. In fact,
among those librarians who assemble large libraries in
their homes, true collectors are rare. Accumulators are less

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Feature Article
inclined to study dealers catalogues and to pursue elusive
first editions and signed copies. While collectors prefer
their purchases to be in the best possible condition, accumulators are less fussy. As long as the book is complete
and legible, it will find a place on the accumulators shelf.
Space and shelving are constant concerns for keepers
of large domestic collections. Usually shelves spread
through domestic space like kudzu. A shelving unit fills up in
the front room, forcing the owner to find another unit, and
The growth of a personal collection can be insidious,
says Don, a 60-year-old Calgary academic librarian whose
house has shelves in every room. He left library school in
1984 with a copy of The Sears List of Subject Headings, a
Gage Canadian Dictionary and a few feet of science
fiction. He still has most of these books, in the brick-andboard shelf unit that he assembled during his student days.
The problems started when I had a few extra dollars
and time off from my job, he says. I started to browse in
bookshops. I found treasures for next to nothing in thrift
sales. And people gave me books, assuming that because
I was a librarian I would automatically enjoy them, or find a
use for them.

He came in through the bedroom window

Don was slow in initiating a home weeding program.
He is embarrassed to admit that five years ago, he could
no longer open the door to his spare bedroom because a
collapsed shelving unit was blocking the door. He crawled
into the room through a window. He discovered that a
60-year-old set of Colliers Encyclopedia had been too heavy
for the unit, which had buckled at the base and caused a
biblio-avalanche across the doorway.
I realized at that point that much of my personal library
was an impediment, not an asset, says Don. I started
weeding. I donated around 3,000 volumes, including Colliers,
to a local charity. I gave another 500 volumes to a hospital
mostly paperback fiction, the kind that volunteers distribute
on little carts to patients.
For a brief period, Dons home library contained little
more than the books with which he left library school, but
soon he returned to his habit of browsing and bringing lots
of books home. He worried that he would find himself
crawling through another window to dig out another
avalanche, when he met his current partner, a public
librarian named Louise who helps him to control his
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Warning: Biblio-Avalanche Area

acquisitions. She set a limit on the shelf space that Don

can maintain. When there is no more room on the three
large units in Dons study, Louise donates any unshelved
volumes to a local church.
That woman is merciless, which is probably a good
thing, says Don. I need the discipline. But I still miss some
of the items that Ive given away. For example, Colliers.
Doesnt make sense, does it?

Inevitably any discussion of domestic book accumulation
turns to the psychology of those who indulge in it. Are they
hoarders, depressed, lonely and unfulfilled? Are they
insulating themselves from the outside world, with its new
technologies and different ways of processing information?
Could domestic accumulators be in denial? Are they
hopeless dreamers?
It is possible that they could be all or some or none of
these things. People who hoard possessions in their
homesvast piles of newspapers, books, crockery and
kitchen utensils, old clothesmight be depressed and
need professional counselling. Or they might be harmlessly
eccentric, and happier than most of us. Librarians who
hoard hardcopy could be neurotic, or they might simply
enjoy being surrounded by large quantities of books.
Pathologizing all accumulation habits is unnecessary and
in many cases inappropriate, especially in the case of a
Id like to know how many books are too many, says
Rhonda. Ive known a couple of librarians who have fairly

Canadian Library Association


Feature Article
serious personal issues, and who indulge in impulsive
buying for their personal libraries. But I dont consider
myself particularly neurotic because I have a big personal
library. There is no absolute correlation between emotional
trouble and accumulating books. Ive also known art
collectors whose oil paintings and watercolours fill every
inch of their residential wall space. There was an entomologist at a local university who used to cram his home fridges
with bottles full of insects. Are these people disturbed, or
simply enthusiastic about their hobbies and professional
Accumulators bristle at the suggestion that the texts
of their hardcopies will soon be available online, and that
shelving will soon be obsolete. They point out that there are
differences in the ways that one perceives online texts and
texts in hardcopy.
The topic of how we physically relate to books in
different media deserves a lot more attention, says Lisa.
Information science might provide a partial answer,
but I believe that neuroscientists who have a deeper
understanding of brain activity need to get involved in the
discussion. Readers have different ways of perceiving a text
online and in hardcopy. Perhaps they remember one more
than the other. Perhaps they notice different things about a
text when it is presented in a different medium. Anyway, as
strong as the claims are for the benefits of e-books, I cant
see hardcopy dying out. In my case, both are welcome and
useful in different ways.


Canadian Library Association

As long as hardcopy survives, there will be librarians

who fill their residences with countless volumes. Their
colleagues may demur, and possibly question their
emotional health. But IKEA will continue to sell them
industrial-quality shelving, and patient partners might weed
the overflow as required. While our workplaces move at
the speed of light, some of our home libraries will grow at
no more than a fewor few dozenvolumes a week.
A change of pace is always welcome.

Recommended Reading
For further discussion of domestic libraries, reading and
the future of the book, the following recently published items
are highly recommended:

Jacques Bonnet, Phantoms on the Bookshelves,

translated from the French by Sian Reynolds
(New York, 2012).
Jean-Claude Carriere & Umberto Eco, This Is Not
the End of the Book, a conversation curated by
Jean-Philippe de Tonnac, translated from the
French by Polly McLean (London, 2012).
Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age
of Distraction (New York, 2011).

Guy Robertson ( is a Vancouverbased librarian. He sleeps with a Kindle under his pillow.
He owns no books. He tells no lies.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Feature Article

by Anne Dodington

Herding Cats: PR-Friendly Library Events with Kids

Wow, Im exhausted! I turned from my desk to see my

co-worker, Nona, drop two large book bags down on the
floor beside me. You do look tiredwhere were you this
morning? I asked.
I just got back from the Vancouver Kidsbooks store
with 12 excited kids and their parents. They had so much
fun choosing books for the library, Nona said. Oh! I
exclaimed, I didnt know you were going there. What a
great idea. Did you take any pictures?
Are you kidding? It was enough just to get over there
and get those books bought. Once we arrived at the store,
it was like herding cats. I was too busy running around after
those kids and their parents. Well, it sounds like a great
partnership opportunity for that local business, I said.
Who else knows about this program?
Aside from me and the few families I talked into
participating? No one, she said.
As I chatted with my exhausted co-worker, it occurred
to me that libraries create innovative community activities
like this one all the time, but often dont put much thought
into the communications and event planning, thereby
missing fantastic opportunities to promote themselves
and develop further partnerships with local business

Communications plan
A communications plan doesnt need to be elaborate,
but using the framework can help staff look at all their
programming and community engagement activities and
prioritize those that support the librarys key message and
have great media relations potential. It can help outline
when an event will require extra time and staff resources
to meet that potential. It can also create a game plan for
the event itself, which can help streamline the activities
and assist the programmer in getting the most out of the
event, regardless of the number of staff assigned to it.
In the case of this outing, a kid-led book-buying trip to a
local bookstore, the library devoted time and resources to
making arrangements with the local business, creating
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

posters for the event and obtaining photo release forms for
the children from their parents, but did not follow through on
these investments by distributing advertising to its business
partner and other community agencies or documenting the
activity. The new kid-led book buy program is unique and
has a wonderful human interest aspect that would appeal
to local media looking for a brief feature story. A simple
communications plan, along with a few event management
guidelines, could have made all the difference in promoting
the event, capturing its best moments and getting media
coverage for the library and its partners.

Some tips
Anyone who has hosted a birthday party knows that
events that include children require a special kind of stamina.
To make the most of the kid-led book buy, which was
basically a field trip that needed the best documentation
possible, the library could have borrowed some event
planning tips from the prosteachers and wedding
Top tips from teachers for outings with kids:
1. Experience the site beforehand.
2. Engage all the adult help you can get. Assign
another person to come and document the activity.
Give your chaperones specific tasks.
3. Develop a schedule of activities within the event.
4. Arrange for special equipment (cameras, lighting).
5. Prepare name tags for students and chaperones.
6. Create an evaluation journal about the event to use
as a reference for future events and to share with
colleagues and partners.
Top tips from wedding photographers for capturing an
event with kids:
1. Scout the location.
2. Have a shot list (close-ups of individuals, group
photos with business partners, group photos with
and without the parents, photos of kids with their
chosen items, photos of kids doing the activity).

Canadian Library Association


Feature Article
3. Set expectations for participants; tell them the
schedule of events and photos.
4. Assign a coordinator who can round everyone up,
help get them in the shot and keep things moving.
5. Share your images with participants as soon as
you can.
6. Expect the unexpected and be prepared with extra
equipment and a backup person.
7. Get children to interview each other about the event.
The pros agree that engaging another person to share
the hosting and documenting duties is key, as is scheduling
activities, communicating expectations with participants,
and sharing the evaluation and results of the event with
stakeholders. These objectives are not new to those in the
public relations and event management field but are not
prioritized by programmers in the public sector.
These event planning tips, along with a communications
plan identifying the librarys key messages and target
audience, could help the staff hosting the next kid-led
book-buying trip to create a great story with a media-ready
package that shows both the library and its business partner
in their best light.
Anne Dodington ( works as a Library
Technician in Vancouver, BC. She is studying Public
Relations at Simon Fraser University.


Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Feature Article

by Mike Selby

Librarians as Leaders

There is no doubt about itleading is hard. Having to lead

people, let alone an entire organization, can be unnerving
to new librarians. Of course, like most aspects of our field,
no one has to go down this road alone. Besides current
leaders being more than willing to mentor others at any
stage of their career, librarians of the past have left us with
a strong legacy of leadership. It is these real-world models
who can teach us some of the best lessons about library
Juliette Hampton Morgan, Emily Wheelock Reed and
Patricia Blalock are three librarians who embody leadership.
All three came into their leadership roles in the middle of the
civil rights movement in Alabama. Each faced managerial
difficulties much more profound than the typical budget cuts
or staffing issues. They worked in an environment of hostile
stakeholders, where physical harm was a reality. They also
worked alone, receiving no help from any outside agency,
including the American Library Association. Each was
forced to make extraordinarily difficult choices, knowing
that the fate of many depended on them. The solutions
each of these librarians found have left a powerful legacy
for potential managers to take note of when their own
circumstances appear untenable.

Death threats
Juliette Hampton Morgan presents a unique model as
she was not officially in a leadership role. Working as a
reference librarian at Montgomerys Carnegie Public Library
in the 1950s, Morgan possessed what is known as referent
powerthe type of influence that derives from the respect
of others, and not from any formal management position.
As the 1960s approached, Morgan found it untenable that
public libraries professed to be institutions of democracy
and freedom, but excluded half of Montgomerys population
due to the colour of their skin.
Clearly seeing that segregation prevented Montgomerys
public library from fulfilling its mission, Morgan expressed
her concern in a letter published in Montgomerys newsFeliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

paper. This simple act created an overwhelming amount

of hostility towards her, and the mayor demanded that her
employment be terminated. The library she worked at was
also boycotted, with numerous members tearing up their
cards in a mass protest. Morgan also received numerous
death threats both at work and at home.
Leadership is often defined as the ability to instill a high
level of confidence in others, and Morgan was doing just
that. She had won over the library board, which refused to
fire her. By insisting that the library live up to the values it
professed to have, Morgan expressed principles those
around her wished to follow. She was leading.
Sadly, Morgans mental constitution was not as strong
as her convictions. Returning home one day from work,
she found all her windows smashed and a cross burning on
her front lawn. Overcome with fear, she committed suicide.
The vision she had shared so eloquently in the newspaper
inspired more than just the library board; her funeral drew
a massive crowd. The Montgomery Carnegie Library
desegregated soon after, and is now called the Juliette
Hampton Morgan Memorial Library.

Emily Wheelock Reed presents another leadership
model. Reed had an impressive background, having worked
at numerous academic and public libraries, before she
accepted the directorship of the Public Library Service
Division for Alabama in the late 1950s. Reed found herself
almost immediately under fire. A citizens group led by
Alabama State Senator E.O. Eddins demanded that Reed
remove the book The Rabbits Wedding by Garth Williams.
Although it is a childrens picture book, the senator claimed
it was dangerous because it promoted interracial marriage.
Finding nothing objectionable about the book, which
shows a black bunny marrying a white one, Reed felt a
professional responsibility to defend it against censorship.
Eddins responded by threatening to stop the approval of
Reeds budget. This brought Reed to a critical leadership

Canadian Library Association


Feature Article
moment, when the fate of many depended on her decision.
Her professional commitment to intellectual freedom
collided with the financial needs of Alabamas libraries.
Reed chose to stick to her original decision, telling
Senator Eddins that even if the book did promote race
mixing, she had a professional obligation to provide readers
with alternative points of view. The senator dragged Reed
in front of the Alabama legislature, charging her with using
her position to fund a private agenda of race mixing. Reed
replied that the senator was confusing a librarys ownership
of a book with the endorsement of the books ideas.
Although Eddins continued to demand Reeds termination,
the book stayed available to all Alabama libraries.

Career on the line

One of the best leadership examples to come out of
the civil rights era has to be the one set by Patricia Blalock.
Blalock was appointed director of the Selma Carnegie
Library in 1963. Her first act as director was to complete a
strategic assessment of the librarys environment. Her
assessment brought her to the only conclusion possible:
The library needed to be desegregated.
During the very first meeting she had with Selmas
library board, she told them this was to be their first concern.
Met with uncomfortable silence combined with fierce
resistance, Blalock brought the subject up again at her
second meeting with the board. Still greeted with opposition,
Blalock met individually with each board member, reiterating
what the librarys top priority needed to be. Engaged in
forward thinking, Blalock knew integration was coming.
She also knew that change in an organizationparticularly
this changewas seen as a considerable threat by the
board members. To help facilitate this change, she needed a
delicate yet convincing approach. One of the most admired
qualities in a leader is helping individuals adjust positively
to changeassisting them in seeing change not as a threat
but as an opportunity.
Still meeting with fierce resistance, she called an
emergency meeting with the board members and laid it all
out for them. I think we need very badly to get this library
integrated, she informed them. And I dont believe I can
open up on Monday until weve made a real decision.
Blalock had put her entire career and livelihood on the line.
The following day, the Selma Carnegie Library opened
To help her staff adjustno easy thingshe held a
meeting every single day where staff could voice their


Canadian Library Association

objections and resentments about her decision. It took a

while, but Blalocks vision for Selmas library became the
accepted norm.

One final note regarding the librarians profiled above
is that they faced their incredible trials alone. The American
Library Association, which all three librarians belonged to,
offered no help or support. Rice Estes took the ALA to task
for this, writing in Library Journal, When a book is banned
in the smallest hamlet, there is a vigorous protest but
when a city takes away the right of citizens to read every
book in the public library, we say nothing. Eric Moon
echoed Rice Estes, wondering why the ALA was so silent
on the issue. Both the ALA and their Intellectual Freedom
Committee were opposed to library segregation, but neither
took any action to help those who needed it the most.
Not all was lost, though. While Morgan, Reed and
Blalock received no immediate assistance from the ALA,
their actions forced all members of the association to take a
hard look at their professions ethics. Today, the ALAs firm
and unwavering commitment to intellectual freedom was
sparked by these womens leadership decisions.
One of the greatest challenges leaders face is getting
others to accept and embrace change. Yet three individual
Alabama librarians did exactly thisso much so that
they remain superb models of leadership well into the
21st century.

Recommended Reading

Patterson Toby Graham, A Right to Read:

Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabamas Public
Libraries, 1900-1965 (Tuscaloosa: University of
Alabama Press, 2002).
Robert M. Hayes, Models for Library Management,
Decision-Making, and Planning (San Diego:
Academic Press, 2002).
Michael Useem, The Leadership Moment: Nine True
Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons
for Us All (New York: Times Business, 1998).

Mike Selby ( can be

found working at the information desk at the Cranbrook
Public Library. Currently a second-year MLIS student at the
University of Alabama, he is also the author of the popular
newspaper column Mikes Booknotes.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Book Reviews
The Black Belt Librarian:
Real-World Safety & Security
Warren Graham. Chicago: American
Library Association, 2012. 80 pp., $45.
ISBN 978-0-8389-1137-2.

Security professional Warren Graham, having worked in public

libraries for several years, offers his highly personal and
insightful view of security best practices for public libraries.
The style is breezy, with many entertaining examples of
ill-behaved patrons and staff reactions, effective or not.
This softcover book features chapters on self-confidence,
the consistent application of rules, good building design and
documentation, selecting security personnel, and how to
approach various situations in a non-confrontational manner.
Grahams advice is solid, as is his knowledge of challenges
facing libraries and librarians. His tone is challenging yet
reassuring, and he is able to directly yet gently address
librarians perceived lack of assertiveness, sharing stories
about his own early introversion and mistakes.
Some librarians may be put off a little by his rigidity.
He suggests that playful kids areas and teen hangouts
lend themselves to behaviour problems, and that only
reading, research, studying, and learning be permitted
library useswhat about playing computer games? But
his messages on consistency, education and techniques
are worthwhile reading for any public librarians who fear
their library is out of control.

However, anyone looking for visually appealing and

fresh ideas to display and market library collections will
be disappointed. The themessuch as Yosemite, Autism
and Jersey Shoreare dated and lack popular appeal
(especially for Canadian libraries). These are display case
exhibits, with many types of artifacts (including some books)
to commemorate a topic, not to highlight and promote use
of library collections. Even so, the whole thing could have
been done better.
Each display only has one black and white photo
illustrating it, plus two to three pages devoted to an
encyclopedia-type article on the subject, which is
unnecessary. To prepare a display on Japan, one does
not need to read about its economy and population. The
author further wastes space by recounting a personal
anecdote about her connection to each topic. More visuals
and much less text would make this a more useful book.
The sections on assembling the displays are detailed
but separated from the photos, so one has to keep flipping
back to see what is being described. Offering several
display ideas for each theme would have added interest,
as would have a concise presentation of basic display
design concepts.
Overall, this book is uninspiring and lacks the visual
appeal that should be a key element in any work on this
topic. Not recommended.
Reviewed by Heather MacKenzie, Branch Manager, Keshen
Goodman Public Library, Halifax Public Libraries.

Reviewed by Todd Kyle, CEO, Newmarket Public Library,

Newmarket, Ontario.

Going Mobile: Developing

Apps for Your Library
Using Basic HTML

Displays! Dynamic Design

Ideas for Your Library Step
by Step

Scott La Counte. Chicago:

American Library Association, 2012.
64 pp., softcover, US$45.
ISBN 978-0-8389-1129-7.

Susan P. Phillips. Jefferson, N.C.:

McFarland & Company, 2011. 238 pp.,
$49.95. ISBN 978-0-7864-4024-5.

This book presents 45 display themes, with background

on the subject, details on creating the display, sources
of materials and expansion ideas. Shorter descriptions of
77 additional ideas and a bibliography are also included.
Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

For the first time, there is a group of people who can have
everything they could ever want in the palm of their hand.
Scott La Counte, a librarian at Anaheim Public Library and
developer of LibFind, a mobile app providing contact information for public libraries across the United States, presents
his intended audience (librarians) with a step-by-step guide
on developing mobile apps for a library environment.

Canadian Library Association


Book Reviews
La Countes book is certainly timely, raising awareness
of mobile development in our technologically enhanced
21st century, and providing encouragement to libraries to
join Generation Mobile (the authors moniker for those
possessing hand-held devices) and open an untapped
potential marketing opportunity. Writing in a narrative format, La Counte organizes his report into eight chapters,
beginning with a somewhat textbook-like definition of mobile
apps, and concluding with a number of suggestions or
stepping-stones for librarians delving into the mobile world.
He thus echoes Comenius (Moravian educational reformer
and theologian, 1592-1670) orbis pictus principle (you learn
by example). While some of the authors recommendations
on mobile site optimization may seem obvious, perhaps
even trivial, they can easily be forgotten in the rush to create
content. La Counte cautions the reader that creating a
mobile app or producing a mobile-optimized website is not
about merely transferring content. Mobile devices take on
many different shapes and forms, do not necessarily support
JavaScript, and contain a number of varying features.
Perhaps the most universal piece of advice that the author
gives is keep it simple.
With the influx of Web 2.0 websites, coupled with easy
to manage WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)
editors, it may seem counterintuitive to revert back to HTML
coding for mobile app creation. However, La Counte, with
his clear instructions, supplemented with numerous
screenshots, tables and figures, makes no assumption
about a librarians technical ability, choosing to ease the
reader into the app creation and development process from
initiation to conclusion. The final three chapters contain
numerous tips, HTML codes, templates and the authors
personal remarks on WYSIWYG editors to get libraries on
board with mobile technology.
Although written by a public librarian, this book will
appeal to librarians in any setting. Librarians no longer need
astute technical know-how, nor should it be necessary for
them to hire an app programmer to meet their needs. Rather,
following the authors advice and taking advantage of the
wisdom he has to offer should at the very least get librarians
talking about opportunities to take the library into the mobile
era. Delivering a realistic portrayal of mobile app development, La Counte admits that for every excellent app, there
are at least ten apps that fail. However, unless your
mission in developing an app is to do something cool and
flashy and short lived, think interactive.

How to Fix Copyright

William Patry. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2011. 323 pp., $21.95.
ISBN 978-0-19-976009-1.

William Patry, the chief copyright lawyer for Google, is

an international authority on copyright with several major
publications on this issue. In a disclaimer, Patry states quite
explicitly that this work is his alone and does not reflect
the official view of Google. The intended audience for this
hardback book are policymakers on copyright on a worldwide basis.
There are 12 chapters, with an introduction and copious
references, written in a lively eclectic style with references
from Socrates to Big Brother. Patry seeks to challenge the
current paradigm on copyright, which is dependent upon an
old economic model based on scarcity, gatekeepers and
monopolies. His goal is to bring copyright legislation more in
line with the digital age. He calls for pragmatic solutions to
copyright problems based on political and economic factors,
where costs are lower, Internet access is worldwide, and
streaming along with cloud computing has obscured the
old copy model. He seeks to ensure that copyright holders
get remunerated, the length of copyright time is lessened
and access, sometimes for cultural heritage purposes, is
The clarion call for reform of copyright is clearly made;
however, much less space is devoted to specific practical
solutions. Patry places the emphasis more on calling for the
development of economic models tailor made to suit specific
cases. This work would be most useful in an academic or
business library.
Reviewed by Gordon Burr, Associate Member, School of
Information Studies, McGill University.

Reviewed by Marcus Vaska, Librarian, Health Information

Network, Calgary.


Canadian Library Association

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Book Reviews
The Librarians Guide to
Micropublishing: Helping
Patrons and Communities
Use Free and Low-Cost
Publishing Tools to Tell
Their Stories

Working in the Virtual Stacks:

The New Library and
Information Science
Laura Townsend Kane. Chicago: American
Library Association, 2011. xi + 167 pp.,
softcover, $47 ($42.30 for ALA members).
ISBN 978-0-8389-1103-7.

Walt Crawford. Medford, N.J.:

Information Today, Inc., 2012. ix +
172 pp., softcover, $49.50.
ISBN 978-1-57387-430-4.
Unlike vanity publishing, micropublishing has no upfront
costs to the author and uses print on demand (POD) fulfillment services to print individual books as needed. In this
practical guide, Walt Crawford recommends micropublishing to anyone with a book worth publishing, a small audience
or market (one to 500) and a limited budgetfrom genealogy
enthusiasts, family narrative keepers, hiking groups, teen
writing groups or local historians to specialists. He believes
that libraries and librarians have an important role to play in
helping patrons and community groups share their stories
and knowledge by becoming micropublishing facilitators or
even micropublishers themselves.
Drawing on his own extensive micropublishing experience, Crawford takes libraries and their communities through
the essential steps for micropublishing a print book (and
deriving an e-book version), using tools most librarians and
patrons already likely own, such as MS Word. He shows
how to get from a good enough self-published book to a
micropublished book almost as good as any trade-published
book, at no or very low cost.
This relatively short book succeeds in showing that
micropublishing is a valid publishing option and that libraries
should be involved. But since its focus is layout and
typography, its coverage of writing, editing, proofreading,
indexing, cover design, printing and binding, distribution,
sales and fulfillment is brief, leaving novice Word users
and never-before-published readers short on details and
needing to consult alternative reference works.
This title is a timely one as public and academic libraries
seek meaningful new services for their patrons.

This book is a sequel to Straight from the Stacks:

A Firsthand Guide to Careers in Library and Information
Science, published in 2003. Laura Townsend Kane has
written this book because so much has changed in libraries
since that time. This is by no means a comprehensive list of
possible careers in librarianship.... It is my hope...that this
book and its sampling of career possibilities will inspire two
groups of people: those considering librarianship as a
career and those considering a mid-career change.
It is divided into five chapters: Librarians as Subject
Specialists, Librarians as Technology Gurus and Social
Networkers, Librarians as Teachers and Community
Liaisons, Librarians as Entrepreneurs, and Librarians as
Administrators. Each chapter begins with a section by
Kane that generally contains subsections on environments,
education and training, professional associations and, in
some chapters, skills and responsibilities. This is followed by
Spotlights, her interviews with several of the 34 American
librarians included in the book. There is a seven-page index,
which for a book of this size indicates an ability to quickly
access specific topics.
I would highly recommend this book if I were writing
this review for a U.S. publication. However, I have some
reservations about its use in Canadian libraries and school
guidance councillors offices. A person very knowledgeable
about Canadian librarianship would need to be available
to add Canadian content with respect to some parts of
the book.
Reviewed by Jean Weihs, Technical Services Group,

Reviewed by Diana Kichuk, Electronic Resources Librarian,

University of Saskatchewan Library, Saskatoon.

Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

Canadian Library Association



Karen Adams

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Canadian Library Association

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Feliciter Issue #5, 2012 Vol. 58

New Releases from

Fundamentals of Library Instruction
Monty L. McAdoo

Fundamentals of Managing Reference

Carol A. Singer

Being a great teacher is part and parcel of being a

great librarian. In this book, veteran instruction services
librarian McAdoo lays out the fundamentals of the
discipline in easily accessible language. Succinctly
covering the topic from top to bottom, he:

Offers an overview of the historical context of library instruction, drawing

on recent research in learning theory to help the instructor choose the
most effective strategies for any situation
Shows readers how to assess the information needs of a given audience,
how to develop a curriculum for teaching information literacy, and how to
fit an appropriate amount of content into the allotted time
Addresses the pros and cons of online versus face-to-face instruction
Includes methods for publicizing the availability of the librarys learning
With expert guidance for putting theory into practice, McAdoos book helps
librarians connect with students as effectively as possible.

Whether a librarys reference collection is large or

small, it needs constant attention. Singer's book
offers information and insight on best practices
for reference collection management, no matter the
size, and shows why managing without a plan is a
recipe for clutter and confusion. In this very practical
guide, reference librarians will learn:
The importance of collection development policies, and how to effectively
involve others in the decision-making process
New insights into selecting reference materials, both print and electronic
Strategies for collection maintenance, including the all-important issue
of weeding
This important new book will help librarians make better reference
decisions, aligned to customer needs and expectations, especially
significant with todays limited budgets.
Price: $72.00 CLA Member Price: $66.00 184 pages 6" x 9" Softcover
2012 ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1153-2

Price: $66.00 CLA Member Price: $60.50 128 pages 6" x 9" Softcover
2012 ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1141-9

Fundamentals of Reference
Carolyn M. Mulac

The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide

to the Medal and Honor Books, 2012 Edition
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

The all-in-one Reference reference youve been

waiting for, this invaluable book offers a concise
introduction to reference sources and services for a
variety of readers, from library staff members who
are asked to work in the reference department to
managers and others who wish to familiarize themselves with this important area of librarianship.
Written in an accessible style and designed for
everyday use, it presents an overview of the basic tools and techniques of
reference work, including:
Reference Services, a section addressing such important topics as
telephone reference, the reference interview, and electronic reference
Reference Sources, chapters which focus on types of reference
tools, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks,
and almanacs
Appendixes with key documents prepared by the Reference and User
Services Association (RUSA) and an annotated bibliography
An excellent training tool for both new and experienced staff,
Fundamentals of Reference will quickly become your fundamental

Updated to include the 2012 award and honor books,

this new edition of the annual guide to the Newbery
and Caldecott awards gathers together the books
deemed most distinguished in American children's
literature and illustration since the inception of
the renowned prizes. Librarians and teachers everywhere rely on this guidebook for quick reference and
collection development and also as a resource for curriculum links and
readers' advisory. With an easy-to-use streamlined look and format, the
2012 guide also includes:
A new essay by Deborah Stevenson, Director of the Center for Children's
Books, on how the awards are consistently a big moment for children's
books to be noticed and celebrated outside the library world
Explanations of criteria used to select the winners
Updated bibliographic citations and indexes for the award winners
This perennial guide for locating information about the best in children's
books is valuable for every collection.
Price: $36.00 CLA Member Price: $33.00 184 pages 6" x 9" Softcover
2012 ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-3601-6

Price: $62.40 CLA Member Price: $57.20 144 pages 6" x 9" Softcover
2012 ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1087-0

Order from:

Canadian Library Association, 1150 Morrison Drive, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S9
Tel: 613-232-9625, ext. 310 Fax: 613-563-9895 or shop CLA at

The Canadian Library Association is the exclusive Canadian source of all American Library Association publications