Creating the Conversation: Cut through the Noise and Be the Signal

Our community members continuously engage in a conversation about the campus library. Positive or negative, academic librarians can learn much from what is being said if we are able to hear it. The challenge we face is that the volume of societal noise makes it exceedingly difficult to effectively capture or deliver the truly important signals. In this presentation, Steven J. Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services and ACRL president for 2012-2013, will share insights and observations about communicating with our members in an age of digital distraction in which there is constant competition for attention. We can learn from what consumer brands are doing to create conversations with their communities. Too often the answer to the question, “Can you hear me now” is “No I cannot.” For better academic libraries, we need strategies to improve our capacity as both antennae and beacon.

About Steven Bell

Steven J. Bell is the Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University. He is serving as the president of ACRL for 2012-13. He writes and speaks about academic librarianship, learning technologies, library management, higher education, design thinking and user experience. Steven is a co-founder of the Blended Librarian’s Online Learning Community on the Learning Times Network and enjoys delivering virtual presentations. He was the founding blogger of ACRLog, ACRL’s official Weblog, and currently writes at Designing Better Libraries, a blog about design thinking and library user experiences. He authors weekly columns for Library Journal Academic Newswire, "From the Bell Tower" and "Leading From the Library". He is co-author of the book “Academic Librarianship by Design”. For additional information about Steven J. Bell or links to his projects, point your browser to

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