For this issue we asked our columnists and contributors to think outside the box … outside the library walls … outside the IT infrastructure … even outside the confines of “cutting-edge” thought.
Everyone bought into this concept, giving us not only one of the most thematically targeted issues we’ve ever published but one of the most intriguing.
Do you think that your public library couldn’t possibly afford to take on the grand challenge of offering technology training to an entire metropolitan area? Or that it would be a nightmare to switch off your internal servers and migrate your users to the cloud? Two libraries (Denver Public and Missouri River Regional) who broke out of their local confines share their experience in two featured case studies.
A think piece by 23 Things inventor Helene Blowers blows the lid off of social networking initiatives by suggesting the best strategy in reaching a new generation is not so much about adopting and deploying any given technology as it is about understanding, identifying with, and responding to the core values of Digital Natives.
In his regular column, Dan Chudnov suggests that the best way to produce content for the iPhone, iPad, and Android is to skip the app and simply build a better website.
Donna Ekart advocates taking your reference desk outside the stacks by letting people instant message their requests. (It’s not as scary as you might think.)
Terry Huwe suggests that academic libraries should look outside the reference collection and start to collaborate with the teaching faculty to deliver educational services to their learning communities.
Janet Balas points you to resources for reaching out to your patrons rather than waiting for them to come in; and Marshall Breeding helps you think outside the box of your own profession by suggesting how you might build your own customized career path.
Everyone involved in producing this issue thought outside the box. May this bundle of thoughts inspire you to reach beyond both the conventional and the current hype to achieve your own new heights.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor