January 14, 2009    |   Vol. 2, No. 2    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

People of the Screen  (External site)

The New Atlantis   •  Fall 2008

Is digital literacy an oxymoron? Check out New Atlantis Senior Editor Christine Rosen's thoughtful and thought-provoking essay on the ramifications of digitization, the future of reading and the differences between print and digital literacy.

A good essay that is a bit binary about reading versus screen-reading. It is very helpfully populated with references which are almost all linked to other web sources. I would have expected that to produce at least a wink towards irony given the topic. ( Michalko)

The New Reality: Constant Disruption  (External site)

Harvard Business Publishing   •  January 17, 2009

Disruption as the new status quo. The authors suggest that we're moving away from a cycle of disruption-equilibrium to one of ongoing disruption, thanks to the exponential rate at which today's digital technologies are evolving. How do we position our organizations to take advantage of disruptive change as the new constant?

The essay refers to Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital by Carlota Perez and the role that infrastructures play in shaping business activity and organizational structures. It's a book with which I was unfamiliar. What we can learn about today's infrastructure from the arc followed by the steam engine, electricity, the telephone and other basic infrastructure is thought-provoking. ( Michalko)

Corporate Re-Invention: A Cautionary Tale  (External site)

CEO Forum Group   •  January 2009

Lessons learned too late. A former Kodak executive uses that company's failure to seize the opportunity presented by the digital revolution as a cautionary tale for other organizations resisting the need for strategic change over the next couple of years. The proliferation of digital media and information will change our business dramatically—will we respond in time with new business models and ways of serving our customers?

Among other interesting implications of this case is that a successful transition of our business might mean going from being the "heart of the university" to one important local service provider in a landscape populated by other ambitious and accepted information providers. ( Michalko)

Innovation Strategy: What Business Are We In?  (External site)

Innovation Tools   •  December 22, 2008

Define yourself through your customers. We aren't in the book lending business, or the archive business, or the museum business. We provide our patrons with an experience, such as learning a new skill or escaping into fantasy through reading, answering questions by delving into historical artifacts or broadening personal horizons by strolling through exhibits. So if we concentrate on making that experience better, that's the business we're in.

The companion questions are "what do our customers really value?" and "in what other ways could that be delivered?" ( Michalko)

The Art of Execution  (External site)

Open Forum   •  January 13, 2009

Creating a culture of execution. This list of how-tos is prime reading for managers and provides valuable advice on scaling back goals, toning down hype and fine-tuning expectations to create a reasonable environment for success.

This short excerpt is vintage Guy Kawasaki—a surfeit of good thoughts all at once and a plug for his new book. ( Michalko)

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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