Decision Making and Decisions in a Digital Age

The third session on Monday I attended was on decision making. The presenters were Brent Mast from the Library of Congress and Adrienne Canty from the Edmonton Public Library. They discussed the decisions they made while implementing new technology and services to their users and staff. Masters detailed the migration away from an excel spreadsheet based method of acquisitions to a SharePoint/access method. Canty told us about how her library system installed automated book returns/sorting machines in some of its branches.

This session wasn’t quite what I was looking for but there were some good things I took away from it.

  • A great quote “Strategic decision making is chess not checkers”
  • When making a strategic decision we have to prioritize. What is most important? We can’t do everything.
  • Any technological decision is fraught with risk
  • The new tool has to make the process easier
  • The new tool has to become a platform for moving forward and be something that can/will grow over time
  • Apply a charm offensive during the early stages of building and deployment
    • Let everyone know you will be there to train and assist them
    • This is a good way to meet/get to know other staff

A couple of books they mentioned that I should probably read were: Black Swan and This Time is Different

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