Ten Guitars Or A Busted Ukelele?

Ten Guitars is a well-loved New Zealand (especially Māori) party song. I’ve used it here in an informal way to rate the success (or otherwise) of our Māori TED Talks project. In August last year, Tosca Waerea and I were on Twitter discussing why we loved TED Talks when we hit upon the idea of trying…

Wrestling With Resolutions

It’s about now (mid January) that you’re over the euphoria of setting a New Year resolution and you’re wrestling to keep it on track. According to the NZ Herald 55% of Kiwis make New Year resolutions but more than 33% do not keep them. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me and I’m sure…

What Does Success Look Like?

Last week I read a post by Australian Information Professional Alisa Howlett about how her definition of success has changed over time and sometimes the path is not as well defined as it used to be. Alisa’s post got me thinking about success in another way – from a project perspective. A successful project solves a problem…

Showcase: The Anatomy Of Libraries

My Mum lives in Gisborne. She doesn’t use the library and won’t write a letter to the editor about the library user-charges in Gisborne because she doesn’t know what she’d say. I asked Mum why she doesn’t use the library: “I don’t need to.” I asked Mum what would encourage her to use the library: “If…

What Business Are Libraries In?

If you had to describe what libraries do in 8 words or less (because this fits on a business card, is a nice sound bite, can be remembered and repeated, and can be used in advertising etc) what would you say? Why is this question so difficult to answer? Why are we not able to…

Who Are Your Top 10 Borrowers?

Growing your library isn’t just a worthy goal; it is a necessity for your survival. But growth requires focus – a focus on your number one market. A business doesn’t grow by treating all customers equally and neither should libraries. Now, before you respond with: “but we’re part of council and we must serve all…

Forget Strategy, Worry About Execution

Developing strategic plans is a common endeavour in many libraries, and one that some libraries struggle to make meaningful. According to Wikipedia, strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organisation’s future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: What do we do? For whom do we do it?…

The Art of Non-Conformity (Book Review)

Title: The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want… Author: Chris Guillebeau Verdict: Inspirational lessons for life. Buy it. Dare to do different. Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ See which libraries in New Zealand have The Art of Non-Conformity. The Art of Non-Conformity is a journey of adventure, memorable moments and serendipity. But first and…

TEDx Auckland – Getting Things Done

I’ve just spent an inspiring day at TEDx Auckland. There were many great presentations, but the one that stuck with me was from Cindy Gallop who Skyped in from South Africa. Cindy is the founder and CEO of ifwerantheworld.com, a radically simple web platform designed to help change the world one microaction at a time. This got…

Meetings!

Meetings take up a lot of my time. Probably second only to travelling to and from them. And so whenever I read some tips on how to make them work better, I’m always intrigued. Today I came across a post from Results.com that had one tip I hadn’t encountered (or hadn’t noticed in any meetings I’ve been in)…