Program (as of January 10, 2007)

We will be using a modified form of “Open Space”, an exciting and challenging technique for structuring group dialogue. The Open Space technique was originally created by Harrison Owen. The fundamental premise of Open Space is that the group knows what it needs to do, and thus it creates its own agenda through a series of steps, all of which call on group members to engage or disengage in the group conversation in an intentional and self-guided way. We believe that this process mirrors some of our experiences and desires for the world of libraries.


We will begin the day with an open forum, guided by Open Space principles, and then build the afternoon discussions based on the morning’s work. The program will follow the general flow below.

8:30a Registration opens; continental breakfast
9:00a Welcome – steering committee
Open Space orientation and program development
10:00a Small group work on topics
11:30a Agora – coming back together; making sense of Open Space, plan for afternoon
Noon Lunch (possible working sessions)
1:15p Focused conversations/breakout sessions (based on morning’s findings
2:30p Break
2:30p Meeting wrap up: reports from afternoon work, key learnings, next steps, evaluations
4:00p Program ends
4:00p Attendee Reception – hosted by Innovative Interfaces

For more information on Open Space go here.


The program will be facilitated by Laura Freebairn-Smith. Laura is currently conducting research on organizational development issues with the Medical Informatics group at Yale, providing diversity and organizational development guidance to Yale’s Library system, teaching leadership at the Drama School, and conducting a benchmarking study for Yale Law School. Prior to these projects, Laura served as Yale’s Director of the Organizational Development and Learning Center, which she designed and help create in 1999.

Laura’s background includes a BA from UC Berkeley (Philosophy and Political Science) and an MBA from Yale’s School of Management. She is in the dissertation phase of her doctoral work on hierarchy in the Organizational Systems program at the Saybrook Institute. Laura has published articles and chapters on organizational development topics, most recently on stereotyping.

Breakout Session Transcripts

Transcripts courtesy of Diane Bisom, UC Riverside Libraries

  1. Future of Tiaga; Scott Walter
  2. Information Control — Best Practices; Tom Wall
  3. Organizational Redesign; Katharine Farrell, Meg Bellinger, Jay Lambrecht
  4. Breaking/Reforming Professional Subcultures; Bob Wolven
  5. Faculty Status and Tenure; Michele Newberry and Gail Herrera
  6. Creating buy-in for more digital library services among staff / Digital knowledge creation; Marvin Bielawski/ Will Wakeling
  7. Future directions of library technology; Beth Warner
  8. Collaborate on everything; Shelley Phipps
  9. Risk taking; Catherine Friedman
  10. Integrating library services with curricular/co-curricular life programs; Fred Gertler
  11. Campus discussion on imagining the future of the library; Charles Chamberlain & Brenda Johnson
  12. Organizational structure of technical services; Brad Eden, Roy Ziegler
  13. When should libraries act consortially?; Mark Sandler
  14. Innovation with minimal process;
  15. Collections and Libraries after mass digitization; Margaret Landesman and Melissa Trevvett
  16. Developing trust/ability to delegate; Ann Frenkel
  17. Succession planning/leadership development in time of change; Rick Lugg, Scott Walter
  18. Academic libraries and net generation students; Susan Gibbons
  19. Search; Kristin Antelman, Cynthia Clark
  20. Skills needed; Steve Bosch