In this issue:
The New York Review of Books • February 12, 2009
The promise and peril of Google's digitization project. Harvard professor Robert Darnton provides a cogent discussion of the pros and cons of Google's recent legal settlement, which has the potential not only to turn it into the world's largest library, but also "the world's largest book business—not a chain of stores but an electronic supply service that could out-Amazon Amazon."
Strategic Heading • January 20, 2009
Building on the value of community. We've heard a lot about Web 2.0, but economist G. Oliver Young offers interesting insight into the ongoing shift occurring now from a closed toward an open value creation system and what that means for our business: "Firms that embrace the community will harness vast amounts of community value at almost no explicit cost." We need to think about how best to embrace our community in ways that create value.
Change This • January 14, 2009
Overcoming fear of change. In order to successfully manage change in organizations, we must learn to master change in ourselves. As "survival of the fittest" becomes "survival of the most aware and adaptable," there are coping mechanisms that help make change a positive experience, both personally and for the organization.
CFO Magazine • January 1, 2009
Divide and prosper. While we don't necessarily look at our customers as income-generators, the argument for de-emphasizing service to the most demanding (and least rewarding) patrons makes sense. How can you focus your staff's energy on meeting the needs of your "high value" customers while formulating an energy conservation strategy for serving the rest?
The New York Times • January 21, 2009
The Next Big Thing in recommendation engines. Much of the value we offer our patrons is based on our ability to provide shortcuts to ideas they're interested in or information they're seeking. The power of "affinity recommendations" is clear—just look at any Amazon page—and Netflix is upping the ante with its $1 million prize for a new algorithm that results in a 10% baseline improvement over the company's current recommendations engine. Check out the contenders and think about how we might leverage recommendations to create more value.
Technology Review • January 21, 2009
Leveraging the power of text. One entrepreneur sees a future in distributing simple tasks, such as short translations or transcriptions, to mobile phone users in developing nations. The venture could provide much-needed income for an underemployed workforce while at the same time broadening the reach of mobile technology to languages not currently supported. This innovative idea begs the question--are there ways we could be preparing now to reach out to underserved populations via mobile technology and texting?
- " style="text-decoration:none">Network Infrastructure for Shared Print Collections
- Shortcut to Becoming a Librarian
- Research Data Stewardship in Canada
- RLG Programs 2009 Annual Partner Meeting, 1–3 June 2009 in Boston