In Search of the Next Value Proposition


An excerpt from my column in Computers in Libraries, November 2012, of the same title:

Although it is pretty easy to find colleagues who will express fatigue or frustration about the constant need for libraries to prove their value proposition, there is also an upside to the exercise of crafting a message that justifies our mission. The catch is that however good your crafted message may be, forget about finishing the dog-and-pony show once and for all. Information professionals live on the front lines of disruptive technology, and are subject to the forces of digital convergence, which are forever pushing knowledge workers closer together and challenging them to rethink what they do. The sheer cascade of new technologies throughout the workplace, the entertainment sphere, and society in general requires constant review of our top goals, how we frame them to our users, and what “deliverables” we rely upon to build an evidence-based record of our relevance. And then there is the future: we must search not only for this year’s value proposition, but also for next year, and for the year after that. Mind you, we’ve come up with some real winners over time; even so, the big payoff of creating winning “meme” essentially amounts to extending its lifespan from 12 months to 24.

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