November 4, 2008    |   Vol. 1, No. 10    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

The Business of Breaking Boundaries  (External site)

IdeaConnection   •  October 20, 2008

Turning problems upside down can yield new insight. The authors of Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big And Small offer four tools for tackling issues from an unconventional perspective that just might trigger breakthrough thinking.

Although we can take some credit for embracing the Internet long before some other professions (can you say "real estate?"), we cannot rest on those laurels. We must continue to think creatively about our role within modern society and how best to create the future we wish to inhabit. Doing this well will likely require using techniques such as those identified here to help us break out of our familiar modes of thinking. ( Tennant)

Arm & Hammer: Daring to be Different  (External site)

Innoblog   •  October 21, 2008

Lessons learned from a disruptive cleaning product. Innoblogger Natalie Painchaud examines Arm & Hammer's "less is more" approach toward innovation and suggests ways to apply it to your own innovation efforts.

This article suggests that we should consider when doing less might be better (less metadata for more digital objects?); when we can borrow from other sectors (flickr tagging?); when we can identify an unmet need (mobile access to your library catalog?)—and that in all cases, we need to be very clear about the problem we've solved. ( Erway)

Gen Y Tech Tools May Not Translate to the Real World  (External site)

CIO   •  October 20, 2008

Managing Gen Y workers requires more flexibility. "If bosses want to keep their employees from surfing the web, they should give them deadlines. Personally I think having websites available at work helps keep employees awake during the day," says a recent college graduate.

This is an old story, and I suspect we'll continue to hear it for years to come. There's a clear difference between exploring new technologies (and technology trends) and supporting an eight-hour-a-week fantasy baseball habit. Understanding the difference between time wasting and productive play will be key for both employers and employees—not just now, but going forward. ( Proffitt)

Customized Sites, Yearbooks Connect Local Papers & Schools  (External site)

Poynter Online   •  October 23, 2008

DIY yearbooks. This is a great idea—newspapers teaming with local schools to host a site that serves as a repository for high school yearbook content. At the end of the year, students can assemble their own versions. How can libraries team with local communities and schools to collaborate on custom publishing ventures?

Research libraries debate the ascendance of local information in the context of global access to digital information. Community experiments such as this—with a reverse publishing model—might present a step toward strategies for archiving local history. In print, Web 2.0 comes into the archives through the back door, via integration of two declining publishing industries: local newspapers and high school journalism. ( Schaffner)

The State of Independent Local Online News, Part 1: Sites on the Rise; Business Models Remain Elusive  (External site)

OJR   •  Octobber 27, 2008

Indie news sites are challenging the status quo. Don't overlook this resource—independent news sites ranging from "mom-and-pop shops focused on a single community concern to seven-figure operations that reflect wide civic interests." As journalistic control becomes increasingly concentrated among a few large media organizations, these sites offer an alternative.

As the Christian Science Monitor shifts from print to online, and as my husband frets about the continued viability of his beloved New York Times (which he only reads online), I expect we'll continue to see a variety of new models for word-based journalism. I continue to be fascinated by the shifts in journalism from print to online, and wonder what parallel lessons libraries can draw from this evolution. ( Proffitt)

6 Ways Authors Can Succeed by Self-Publishing Books  (External site)

MediaShift   •  Octobber 24, 2008

Beyond "vanity publishing." Amazon's BookSurge and other self-publishing operations are providing a viable alternative to the traditional publishing model for some authors. Check out suggestions from self-published authors on how to make it work and think about what "print on demand" could mean for your organization.

Before I start cranking out my masterpiece, I can't help but wonder: every time there's a new twist in the river of information, the library eventually has to figure out a way to siphon it. Are BookSurge, Packt, Lulu, AuthorHouse, and iUniverse part of your acquisition plan? Now that self- publishing isn't just for those who can't hack it in the real world, should they be? ( Waibel)

OCLC Programs and Research advances exploration, innovation and community building for libraries, archives, and museums.

Above the Fold is a Web-based newsletter published by OCLC Programs and Research. It has been developed to serve a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums. News items are supplied weekly under contract by Suzanne Douglas, Ibis Communications Inc. Programs and Research items are supplied by staff in RLG Programs and OCLC Research. Please send comments and questions about this or other issues to rlg@oclc.org.
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