October 29, 2008    |   Vol. 1, No. 9    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

Layoffs and Creativity: Are You Expelling the Innovators?  (External site)

Bob Sutton: Work Matters   •  October 16, 2008

Don't downsize your innovators. It's human nature to target people who are "not like us" when layoffs are looming, but beware creating a work group that's too homogeneous to generate innovative problem-solving.

Trying to find the positive in an unpleasant prospect—downsizing might actually represent an opportunity to re-invent the workplace culture. But not if the usual patterns apply. ( Michalko)

Unleashing the Genius in Your Workforce  (External site)

Business Week   •  October 14, 2008

Everyone's got talent—it's your job to nurture genius. Forget about the talent gap—management adviser Stephanie Chick says it's time to focus on the hidden genius in every worker. Because unshackled genius is what it's going to take to survive and prosper in these difficult times.

I like that the columnist asks, "What percent of your potential is being realized at work?" At the recent ARL meetings, a presentation by a group of Research Library Leadership Fellows reported on a survey of future library leaders. The respondents identified the organizational culture and management style as an obstacle to their effectiveness. ( Michalko)

What Publishing Can Learn from Music  (External site)

The Huffington Post   •  October 14, 2008

Free stuff to read is what libraries are all about. So why is the publishing industry so reluctant to offer free content? Publishers need to get past their instinct to lock up their goods, and embrace the new digital reality.

I haven't experienced a book on an iPhone but apparently more and more readers are, based on the popularity of the Stanza e-reader app. This may be the best evidence that one of the prerequisites for publishing change has occurred. ( Michalko)

Textbooks Built to Fit Student Budgets  (External site)

The Christian Science Monitor   •  October 17, 2008

The traditional textbook's days are numbered. And while some academic publishers are experimenting with new models for digital textbooks, a crop of new upstarts are calling for "open source" texts and customizable "flexbooks."

The motivations behind the changing world of textbooks seem to be driven by publisher ambitions rather than improvements in the student experience. I wonder how many of these texts allow the kind of remixing and recombination that represents a lot of the study and learning experience? ( Michalko)

Design Is More Than Packaging  (External site)

The New York Times   •  Octobber 5, 2008

"Design thinking" puts design at the beginning of the process rather than the end. Next time you've got a project to do, remember that focusing on people's needs first can result in some unexpected insights.

The library as place and the museum as experience are urges in our community that would benefit from this kind of design first thinking. (I judge the talking CFO action figure featured in this article scary...) ( Michalko)

 
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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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