Stephen Abram and I were both working for SirsiDynix about 6 years ago. Stephen was VP of Innovation and I was Director of Product Strategy. We caught up again about a month ago and Stephen related some of what he'd learned from a recent survey of public perception of libraries in Ontario. He had commissioned the study as part of his library advocacy work with the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (he's currently the Executive Director of FOPL.
I was fascinated by what they had learned. For one thing, I was impressed by the overall strength of the library brand among survey respondents. Overwhelming majorities felt like their libraries provided essential community services and that they played a major role in local communities. Yet there were weaknesses and warning signs as well. I asked Stephen if he'd be willing to do a webinar with me to share some of what he'd learned and I was delighted when he accepted.
Publishing the transcript ended up being a bit more work than I'd hoped because of some technical glitches with the recording. The substance of what Stephen had to say comes through, nonetheless, I think. I'm delighted to offer it here in the hope that many others will find it as compelling as I did.
Stephen had to run to a meeting with a government minsister immediately after our interview, but he kindly offered to field any questions listeners might have. Please feel free to post those questions in the comments below and we'll post responses for the benefit of other participants.