The Best of Times (and Worst of Times) for CIOs

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 12-28-2015

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As a young boy, I was intrigued by science fiction novels and short stories by the likes of Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. These books represented a very cool and intriguing future filled with amazing technologies.

Today, we’ve arrived at that future. Over the last few years, we have witnessed radical advances in mobility, clouds, data management and, perhaps most importantly, artificial intelligence. Advances in cognitive computing and deep learning have moved off the drawing board and into reality.

We have smart watches, ubiquitous LCD panels and automated systems in homes and businesses. Connected devices and the Internet of things are rocketing into daily life and self-driving cars are just around the corner.  Read more…

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What Do Your Employees Really Think of You?

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Trustworthiness is an essential quality workers expect from their managers, according to a recent survey that focused on workers and their managers.

 

 

Workers generally give their managers high marks on a wide variety of needed performance measures, according to a recent survey from Instructure. Overall, they feel that their bosses are effective at expressing industry knowledge and expertise, while cultivating a collaborative culture. Managers are also giving timely and constructive feedback, while establishing transparency about department and company developments. The latter point remains critical, as the vast majority of workers rank trustworthiness among the most essential qualities of managers. In addition, they value managers who are creative while taking the time to train staffers on needed job skills. The findings convey a generally positive state-of-mind among today’s professionals, as most of them feel secure in their jobs and say that all of their talents and skills are put to use at work. In addition, they say they receive recognition when they do good work, and like working for their employers. A total of 1,050 U.S. employees took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

– See more at: http://www.cioinsight.com/it-management/careers/slideshows/what-do-your-employees-really-think-of-you.html#sthash.30E1jjzg.dpuf

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20 New Year’s Resolutions for Book Nerds

by Ginni Chin

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If you’re a book nerd, you know the usual boring New Year’s resolutions just don’t work for you. The most popular resolutions every year are to lose weight, eat better, sleep better, meditate, drink less, exercise more, and save money. Sure, these resolutions are all generically “good” for you, but they’re also uninspired and uninspiring after a few months. Worst of all, they don’t involve any books!

We book nerds need goals that appeal to our literary sensibilities, and we need resolutions that address our idiosyncratic readerly ways. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions just for book nerds. If you recognize yourself in any of these, maybe it’s time to become a new and improved book nerd in 2016!

  1. I will stop losing bookmarks.
  2. I will keep my “all-nighters to read a book from cover to cover” down to once a week.
  3. I will do things other than read on weekends. Things like interact with other humans, eat things other than cereal, absorb sunlight, and appreciate trees.
  4. I will give people who don’t read a chance. Maybe.
  5. I will conquer the 100 greatest novels of all time.
  6. I will choose a literary prize and read every book that has ever won that prize.
  7. I will be faithful to one book club, instead of joining five different ones and just reading whatever I want. Read more…

The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New

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Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results. These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to master a new skill, expand your knowledge, or eventually boost your career. You can learn interactively at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. It’s hard to imagine how much easier it can possibly be. Honestly, what are you waiting for?

→TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE

edX— Take online courses from the world’s best universities.

Coursera — Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.

Coursmos — Take a micro-course anytime you want, on any device.

Highbrow — Get bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.

Skillshare — Online classes and projects that unlock your creativity.

Curious — Grow your skills with online video lessons.

lynda.com — Learn technology, creative and business skills.

CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.

Udemy — Learn real world skills online.

Read more…

16 Traits of Winning Employees

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There is no such thing as the perfect employee. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that will either allude to the fact that a hire will work out or will turn into a headache.

The saying goes – a job seeker is either part of the problem or part of the solution. When a new hire is part of the problem, they cost the company money, emotional energy and if nothing is done about it can become a significant management issue.

On the other hand, when a job seeker who is hired utilizes the below traits they currently possess and work to acquire the ones they don’t yet have, they turn into leaders and winners within the organization.

Top traits of successful employees:

The individuals with the below traits become the wealthiest, most successful and respected in the professional world.

1. A strong work ethic coupled with a passion for improvement. Work ethic is the foundation of anything worthwhile. In life, the most rewarding goals require diligent work and focus. Intelligence, creativity and passion become nearly useless without the willingness to work hard.

2. Exceptional organizational skills and an understanding of the time, business and money organization brings.

3. High energy that becomes contagious and is one significant component to becoming a leader.

4. Positive outlook with a realistic sense of what to the difference is between optimistic and overly confident and unrealistic.

5. Strong sense of accountability. In life and work, things don’t always go as planned. Mistakes are part of the journey of becoming better and better…unless you don’t fess up to the mishaps, which is a habit that will hurt others’ perceptions of you for the rest of your career and life.

On the other hand, when a job seeker who is hired utilizes the below traits they currently possess and work to acquire the ones they don’t yet have, they turn into leaders and winners within the organization.

 Read more…

WHYY Public Media The future of libraries and why they still matter

 

With the rise of e-Books, Wikipedia, Google, and Smartphones, the way we access and consume information has changed dramatically. It used to be that we visited the local library to borrow a book, research a topic and read back issues of our favorite periodicals. In his new book, BiblioTECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, John Palfrey argues that libraries still fill an important role in the community and are crucial in a democratic society. Libraries provide valuable public spaces where people of all ages can learn and exchange ideas, he says. In this hour of Radio Times, we’ll talk about the future of libraries and how they have adapted in the digital age with JOHN PALFREY who is Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, and SIOBHAN REARDON, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Technophobia & Generational Stigma: Embracing & Supporting Next-Gen Librarianship

Ashley R. Maynor —  December 22, 2015

 

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There has been much talk in the library world and beyond about generations. We are attuned to generational differences when it comes to our patrons, how they learn and use libraries, how they navigate the overloaded information landscape.[1] In the hushes of our faculty meetings and hallways, however, we sometimes talk about millennials and Gen Y with an air of dismay, ambivalence, or even disdain when it comes to their digital, phone-obsessed, tech-loving ways.

So, it comes as little surprise to me that I tend to be met with a certain measure of dismissiveness when I use the term “next-generation librarian” to describe the kind of leaders I want to attract and develop at The Collective (a new kind of professional development event I co-founded with Corey Halaychik) and to see thriving in academic libraries.

First, people often assume that next-generation has to do with youth; age, however, is not a prerequisite for being awesome, embracing change, or thinking forward. Next-generation pertains to the next stage of development or version of our profession; there’s no expiration date on participation save an individuals’ decision to assign themselves one.

Second, there is an unhealthy and prejudicial stereotype that those who embrace technology wholesale do not appreciate the analog or the “traditional” library values. I’m not sure if this comes from a lack of exposure to tech-savvy librarians or a fear-based tactic to defend a Luddite’s value in the institution, but we should celebrate how mad tech skillz and core librarian values are not an either-or. Indeed, we when choose to hire candidates who have both, the rising tide lifts all boats and nobody drowns.

At our best, I have seen how we can celebrate how much next-gen librarians improve our services, creativity, and research outputs. At our worst, we dismiss them as somehow not “real” librarians and stagnate our organizational growth and learning.

So, I’m on a crusade to redefine what we mean by next-generation. The next-generation librarian is a concept that transcends the traditional generational boundary of tabloid research and listicles. Not defined by birth year, next-generation is about a mindset, a disposition, an outlook.

Read more: Technophobia & Generational Stigma: Embracing & Supporting Next-Gen Librarianship