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Enchantment. The August Design Challenge

August 8, 2011 in August Design Challenge


Imagine an enchanting place.
Imagine it as a library.
Now imagine an enchanting experience.
Imagine it as library. Library as verb.
What is your experience in this enchanted place called library?
Your students’ experience?
Your colleagues’ experience?


Share with us what makes each experience, each moment, an enchanted one in the Library of the Future. Put each user, each patron, under the spell of library.

Submit any one or more of the following:
Visual collage, 30 sec video, Voice recording, Narrative description of 300 words or less

Please submit below by leaving a comment.
Submittals are due September 9th Midnight EST.

All of the submittal will be archived and shared with the community on the Next Chapter website and at the National Summit in Atlanta September 23rd – 25th.


Guy Kawasaki talks of three qualities necessary for enchantment:
• Trustworthiness: The care for your client’s every need.
• Likability: Taking the time to know your client.
• Having a fantastic product and exceptional service.

To read more about Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment, click here.

We believe it starts with user-centered design. Sculpting the interactions and behaviors necessary for a rich human experience. Scripting them, describing the sensory experience – what you ‘see’, what you ‘feel’, how you ‘interact’ – combined with mission and ethos these experiences are the ingredients of the magic of library. Crafting culture, service, brand and the environment.

Online Community

April 25, 2011 in Blog, community, Design

There are many online communities. You are probably a member of several yourself.

We recognize that many of you are hitting a breaking point. “No more logins”! You don’t have enough time or energy to visit ONE more online community.


We hear you and don’t blame you.

In an era of online overload, we have created an experience rather than a network. We have created an opportunity for you to help transform your library while in the process connecting and working with like minded people.

So how does this happen?

Design Challenges

From the start we wanted to an online component that emulated what the participants would experience in September when attending the Next Chapter summit. The online community had to not simply connect but rather, it had to represent the aspect of design and “doing” that will be embedded into our real time event later this year.

How could we do this?

By using design challenges. Starting May 15th, we will offer one design challenge each month leading up to and after our event in September. Each challenge will directly connect to how we can reimagine the future of the library. The challenges will be split into (4) week long sections like so:

  • Week 1 -> problem announced + podcast
  • Week 2 -> imagine phase + webinar
  • Week 3 -> make phase
  • Week 4 -> jury phase + webinar

Each of these weeks will be centered around providing you the chance to shape the solutions. The challenges themselves will focus on issues that can be addressed by any K-12 library or school. Our emphasis will be on building community through action and collaboration that is manageable and rewarding.

How Does it Work?

Week 1
During the first week, we will announce the challenge and provide a podcast and resources based upon a topic or issue that is meaningful to the community as a whole. Throughout the week, you will have the chance to discuss the topic and create a sense of understanding around the challenge. The goal is to create a sense of empathy, to understand that while we all may struggle with this challenge, we all have different perspectives and view points on how it affects our libraries.

Week 2
The second week will be dedicated to envisioning potential solutions to the challenge. We will ask you to post your wildest ideas. There will be no judgement. Rather, if we are to truly reimagine a solution to the challenge, we must use ideas that are mashups of ideas from across the map. In addition, we will have a webinar with an expert who will provide insight into the particular challenge and the kinds of ideas that have been proposed before.

Week 3
The focus of week 3 centers around the idea of making. Members of the community will be given the opportunity to contribute their ideas on how to create a prototype of the solution. Due to the nature of our challenges, the ideal is to have an idea that can be created by any library around the world. These solutions or prototypes that are being built could be range from simple products to experiences that help transform the library.

Week 4
This final week will be dedicated to testing and iterating. We will ask that the idea that is developed and build be tested. We will have a webinar with a design expert who will provide feedback on the prototype so that changes can be made to ensure the design reaches the intended audience.

So How is This Different?

When we look at an online community it is about attempting to connect people of like minds.

In an age of digital gluttony, we are trying to ride the fine line of providing one more network while separating ourselves from the pack. The challenges will give you an opportunity to not simply connect but “do something”.

In addition, we will provide you access to experts and the resources necessary to understand how design can making a meaningful difference in your library. We’ll also help you organize in person events so that you can take your challenges offline and work with your peers who may live near you.

Ultimately, we want to empower you to reimagine your library and give you the design-centered tools to do so. It is about you and your vision. We’re just giving you the chance to get a little help from new friends + RE:ED / “Next Chapter” community members.

Photo credit: codemastersnake (#1) + Christian Long (#2, #3)

April in Atlanta

April 24, 2011 in Blog, Events, Library

“Next Chapter”, the first installment of the Reimagine : ED program, kicked off at the Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia on the first weekend of April, 2011.

That weekend brought together thought leaders from across the country to connect and imagine the future of the library. The weekend represented two components connection and inspiration. Both were vital to create an environment that would allow us to push the envelope as  we began to envision the future of the library.


In an effort to create a degree of comfort and connection between our attendees, in which many were meeting for the first time, we started the weekend with a dinner. The goal of our evening was to connect and create a level of comfort between the attendees so that when they would meet the following morning there was already a personal relationship and degree of comfort, which as we would see is vital to embracing transformative change.

The dinner party itself took on a different feel. To begin, while sitting down to some of the best barbecue in Atlanta, we used several prompts to help the generate conversation that would create more of a personal connection between the participants. These prompts included:

  1. If you were a superhero, what would be your unintentional super power?
  2. If you were to give a TED talk, what would it be? (and not about your career)
  3. Describe an awkward moment during middle school?
  4. If you could start a restaurant, what would it be and what would be your signature dish?

The questions led to stories and conversations that brought new connections between peers.

After dinner, we were led by futurists David Stalely and Andrea Saveri in an exercise on how to envision the future. Stalely focused on the fact that innovations are not simply iterations on current ideas or technologies but rather mashups or new ideas that stem out of two very different concepts. To support that thinking, each participant was given two cards with an image on each card. With our two images, we were asked to create a new idea. It was a wonderful practice as we geared up for the next day, as we would be asked to “reimagine” the next chapter of the library.


The next day, at the Lovett School, was dedicated to building upon those new connections and be inspired to mash things up and create something new. This not only required a connection but a willingness to embrace the rules of design.

Design Challenge
Jeff Sharpe, Trung Le, and Sarah Malin led us through an introduction to design thinking and a challenge that helped us understand how to listen, brainstorm, and create. This experience gave us a foundation on the importance of the design process as we would move throughout the day.

Future of Learning
Under the guidance of Lucy Grey, David Jakes, and Andrea Saveri, we then explored the most powerful and effective ways to learn. Their exercise provided us the chance to outline what we as a group believed to be powerful examples of learning.

Future of the Library
Finally, Joyce Valenza, Buffy Hamilton, and Helene Blowers helped us explore what library has been and what it should become. This experience became one of the most heated as we were asked to truly rethink the role of the library in a transformative learning environment. For many there were certain components to the library that were essential where as others believed that we should “blow up” the model all together. What this session proved was that transformative design is not a clean and easy process but rather something that takes a lot of work.

Take Away

As we finished up the weekend, we realized that building comfort and connection between the participants is essential to create the right environment to be inspired to create something truly unique.

Even then, barriers were evident in blocking us from completely embracing a radical shift. Many of us had been holding on to our biases as keys to the future but realized that if we truly want to embrace what the future of the library, or anything for that matter, we must step away from those biases and embrace the process.

Photo credits: Laura Deisley (#3)+ Christian Long (#1, #2, #4, #5)

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