#ReThinkIt15 Opening Plenar – The Case for Change: Rethinking Library Services, Spaces, and Organizations

IMG_3993“The Case for Change: Rethinking Library Services, Spaces, and Organizations”

Elliot Felix, Founder and Director Brightspot Strategy, LLC

Elliot Felix will lead an engaging session that makes the case for change in library services, spaces, and staffing. Drawing on stories of transformation from beyond the library world, he will provide insights on shifts in purpose, offerings, and user and staff experiences. He’ll then use library case studies to explain tactics for achieving these big ideas, covering topics such as user research, visioning, partnerships, prototyping, and assessment. Finally, he’ll provide tools and tips to start working in new ways to transform your library.


  • Trained as an architect….
  • Elliot noticed that design and use are disconnected > went back to school to connect them with research.
  • Space, services and people are interconnected…
  • “the future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed” – William Gibson
  • How do you shift your role to a services vs product? How can we work differently and how can space inform that?

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  • How do you move from formal board room pitch to an informal coffee conversation?  How about the office as a cafe’.
  • UCLA Library Inquiry Labs – A new way to interact…
  • How do you shift your offerings from a pharmacy to a healthcare provider such as CVS.
    • Transformations
      • Role
      • Offering
      • Experience
    • Tactics
      • Research
      • Partner
      • Engage
    • Teasers
      • Loyalty
      • Change
      • Orientation
  • The NCSU Hunt Library offers a user experience focus.
  • How do you connect with digital and focus on the experience. How does the physical environment intersect with the digital. – Experience Transformation
  • Delta is an example of an experience-based mindset for working with customers.
  • Smithsonian mobile applications are close in how they connect the digital and physical spaces.
  • End user research tools: data mining, surveys, workshops, interviews, shadowing, sense-making, journaling, playbook, taskforces, piloting.
  • Research findings: 1) lack of service awareness, 2) opportunity to make connections, 3) facilitating quiet focus, 4) enabling skills mastery, 5) connecting physical and digital, and 6) engaging in research process earlier and later.
  • Experience Model:

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  • What’s next for the “library store”? New ways for interacting with faculty, staff, and students. Making services visible.
  • How do you partner across campus to collaboratively provide support services? University of Virginia is an example of rethinking academic advising. Service vision includes: physical and digital,  helping and directing, integration, advisors as guides, flexibility and choice, engage and empower.

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  • Partnership model

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  • Role of digital.. to: save time, better matchmaking, self-service, discover opportunities, extend the experience, continuous  improvement.
  • How can you engage staff to look beyond the library and provide new services in new ways? Engage with users through service safaris to mine results and see themes… what are people exited about?
  • 5 Es of Experience

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  • Enhanced experiences
  • User Experience Moments

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  • How can you understand and reward your most loyal users of your space?  Membership programs are an example.
  • How can you find change to showcase people and projects, say student or faculty projects? An example is to help fund some small projects through grants.  eg. UofM Barger Leadership Institute.
  • How can you proactively orient users instead of wait for questions.  For example: Quick tours for new visitors.  The user experience when new apps are installed.

Slides here:


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