Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Knowledge Managers Can Learn from Story Corp

Story Corp is a non-profit oral history project that captures interviews between friends, and families to preserve individual perspectives on the American experience. At the end of the session the interviewee(s) receive a recording on CD and (assuming proper release is received) the recording is also archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  (The stories are also shared on Weekend Edition on NPR and on the Story Corp website.

Story Corp is an amazing project on many levels: it is an excellant example of non-profits partnering with government institutions to provide services, it captures minutiae that can be lost in "big" historical accounts, and it shows that communication (after breaking through all the communication tools) essentially comes down to a human connection.

The goal for any knowledge management program parallels Story Corp yet rather than only preserve the experience the organization wants to leverage the ephemeral knowledge created through employee experience to improve their processes and training. Any knowledge management program can learn some best practices from Story Corp to help increase participation:

1) Access: Story Corp leverages recording booths (such as in grand central terminal), and mobile recording studios (airstream trailers with recording equipment) to help their make it easy for participants to share their stories. Organizations need to make the process as painless as possible. They need to provide venues for sharing stories and knowledge that is harmonized with the busy schedules and demands placed on key principals and stakeholders.

2) Facilitation: The Story Corps website provides a questions list for interviewers and for their Door-to-Door service Story Corp provides two trained facilitators to ensure the recording process goes smoothly.  Any knowledge management program has to have a designated contact points to help particpants navigate the process (and also "sell" the contribution process). Simply having the document management system or online repository is not enough.

3)Support: The interviews for Story Corps are preserved in the Library of Congress. A knowledge management program needs to have policy for collecting, storing, and maintaing access to the captured knowledge. Knowledge creation is an organic process and the knowledge management team should always be working to capture new stories to build on their current catalog.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Passbook and the Library

Updating my iPhone to iOS 6 has been an interesting experience. The new maps app built in-house by Apple is rather underwhelming when compared to the Google Maps it replaced. Conversely I found the Passbook app to be promising. The app essentially pairs with other apps on the phone to create full screen "cards" for boarding passes, movie passes etc. There relatively few apps that work with passbook at the moment, but I am sure the number will increase as developers have time to add functionality to their apps.

As I worked with the app, I imagined a library using passbook the give users a "virtual library card". The library could brand the card just like a regular card, and could also include information about checked out items, nearest branch hours, or branch address information. When the user enters the library the card would appear in the lock screen and the user could quickly access it at the circulation desk. As smart phones becomes more imbedded in users lives the library could develop tools like passbook to connect to mobile users beyond a mobile OPAC.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

SLA 2012 is less than a month away and SLA 2012 Advance RegistrationDeadline is June 29


The SLA Annual Conference is less than a month away the Taxonomy Division of SLA is offering a full slate of program sessions and a full day continuing education workshop at the SLA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, July 14-18, 2012. The deadline for advance registration is June 29.
Click the links above and below for more information:
Taxonomy Division Sessions July 16-18:
  • Transforming your Schema and Taxonomies into an Ontology
  • Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time
  • Digital Asset Management: Techniques for Indexing Non-Textual Content
  • Three M's: Mapping, Merging, and Multi-lingual Taxonomies
  • SPOTLIGHT SESSION: Reinventing Library Skills
  • SPOTLIGHT SESSION: E-Discovery
  • Methodologies for Taxonomy Project Management
  • Adding Value to Content through Linked Data
  • Taxonomy Division Open House - networking opportunity
  • Keeping Your Taxonomy Fresh and Relevant
  • Impact of Technical Standards on Metadata and Controlled Vocabulary Projects
The workshop is Saturday, July 14:  Transforming Your Schema and Taxonomies into an Ontology.  You may attend the workshop without registering for the conference and vice versa, or join us for both!
Conference Overview and Registration: http://www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/ac2012/index.cfm
Online Conference Schedule: http://sla2012.sched.org/ 
Taxonomy Division Sessions: http://wiki.sla.org/display/SLATAX/SLA+2012+Annual+Conference+-+Taxonomy-Related+Programs
The Taxonomy Division offers a practical context for exploring issues and sharing experiences related to planning, creating and maintaining taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, ontologies, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. For more information, visit our new website at http://taxonomy.sla.org
Regards,
George Peckham-Rooney
PR Chair, Taxonomy Division

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Brand New Day

I have recently taken on the position of Public Relations Chair for the Taxonomy Division of the Special Libraries Association. I was honored to be asked to join the board and will do my best to support the division during my tenure. I have spent the past week or so getting my feet wet, and look forward to working for the division in the upcoming year.

I have posted information on upcoming events at the SLA conference hosted by the division in an earlier post and I would highly recommend anyone who is at the conference to check them out. There are some great offering this year on taxonomy development, ontologies etc.

I will probably be posting more about the division events in the upcoming weeks as my tenure moves forward. I also want to note that the division has also recently launched a new website at taxonomy.sla.org that will have information on the division and our upcoming events.

I am happy to take questions on my blog or via twitter (@georgedpr) should anyone have any questions about the division.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Interested in Taxonomies?

The Taxonomy Division of SLA is offering a full slate of program sessions and a full day continuing education workshop at the SLA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, July 14-18, 2012. There has been one slight update to the program list, noted below. Also, the early-bird registration deadline for the conference is May 11. 


Click the links above and below for more information:


Taxonomy Division Sessions July 16-18:
  • Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time
  • Digital Asset Management: Techniques for Indexing Non-Textual Content
  • Three M's: Mapping, Merging, and Multi-lingual Taxonomies
  • Reinventing Library Skills
  • SPOTLIGHT SESSION: E-Discovery
  • Methodologies for Taxonomy Project Management (Changed topic and format to facilitated discussion.)
  • Adding Value to Content through Linked Data
  • Taxonomy Division Open House - networking opportunity
  • Keeping Your Taxonomy Fresh and Relevant
  • Impact of Technical Standards on Metadata and Controlled Vocabulary Projects
The workshop is Saturday, July 14:  Transforming Your Schema and Taxonomies into an Ontology.  You may attend the workshop without registering for the conference and vice versa, or join us for both!


Conference Overview and Registration: http://www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/ac2012/index.cfm


Online Conference Schedule: http://sla2012.sched.org/ 


Taxonomy Division Sessions: http://wiki.sla.org/display/SLATAX/SLA+2012+Annual+Conference+-+Taxonomy-Related+Programs

The Taxonomy Division offers a practical context for exploring issues and sharing experiences related to planning, creating and maintaining taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, ontologies, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. For more information, visit http://wiki.sla.org/display/SLATAX

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Building a Digital Life

Building a digital life is much like sending an astronaut to the moon; there is always some left over debris that is hanging around in orbit. As societal interaction shifts further online there is constant digital debris from old social networking profiles, never used email addresses, and accounts on that not-so-great Web 2.0 service that clutter the experience. There are several steps you can take to help manage your digital life and keep the debris to a minimum. The digital landscape is complicated enough without falling into information overload.

1) Name Control: The first is to own your domain name (e.g. johnsmith.com). This allows you to own your email address and also maintain your own brand online. As you change blogging services, social networks, book cataloging sites, and other such services you domain name will remain the same. There a myriad amount of domain name registration services available. (I like Hover as they provide domain privacy in their basic registration package.)

2) Email:  Nowadays most people have more than one email address; a personal address and one provided by their workplace at the very minimum. However, there are also old addresses that have since been abandoned or addresses you're only have access to for a limited time (i.e. school address). In either case I would recommend forwarding the email to an active account. ( In relation to the first point several major email providers like Yahoo and Google allow users to set-up your domain name with their service.)

3) Be Selective: Web companies are always developing new services, updating old services, or pivoting old products to target a new market. Maintaining a presence or account on everything can be tiring and can create an information overload. It is best to use services that give you the most return on your investment of time (remember time is not an infinite resource). There are services (like Posterous) which aggregate content across several different services making it easier to post content.

4)Delete: Once a service has become unusable or no longer worth the effort delete your account. 

Lastly, there is always the scorched earth policy, which is to disengage with the digital world entirely: delete all your profiles, log-off email forever, and give up your digital habit. However, while you no longer have to deal with the online world it also removes you entirely from the conversation. It is better to engage on your own limited terms than not at all. The world is only becoming more interconnected.