... LaRue's Views

Talks - current

My current keynotes, talks, and presentations focus on the following topics:
  • ebooks and libraries -- "Swimming Upstream," "So You Wanna Write a Book," "the DCL Model." All of these talks focus on trends in the world of digital publishing, and the ability of libraries to explore emerging streams of intellectual content, incubate local authors, and in general manage their content directly, and remain relevant players in the 21st century.
    [Audience: all staff, trustees, public.]

  • Intellectual Freedom -- "The New Inquisition: Love, Loss, and Libraries." Over the space of just ten years, the Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries fielded over 200 attempts to remove or restrict access to library materials. Who challenges library materials? Why? How should you respond? The answers to these questions may surprise you.
    [Audience: all staff, trustees.]

  • Planning and trends-- "The Big Picture." In 1990, the Douglas County Libraries was ranked as the worst in the state of Colorado. By 2009, it was ranked as number one in the nation for populations of 250,000-500,000. How does a library gain both use and support? How should a library set its sails for the future?
    [Audience: all staff, Trustees.]

  • Advocacy/Communications -- "Who Better than a Librarian?" You've tried giving people the numbers. The evidence is so clear. But no one hears you. You're not even sure they're listening. Why not try what every children's librarian knows will work, every time: "Let me tell you a story..."
    [Audience: corporate leaders, public employers of all kinds, senior staff, Trustees.]

  • Communications -- "Clouds of Meaning." So often, the way we talk about what we want doesn't match up to what we mean to say. Suppose you could "draw a picture" that made it instantly clear?
    [Audience: corporate leaders, public employers of all kinds, senior staff, Trustees.]

  • Managing conflict -- "Talkin' Bout My Generation." The Boomers are in charge. The GenXers are moving into mid-management. The Millennials have just arrived. Do you want to finally understand your parents/children/siblings/coworkers? What drives them, how do they communicate, how do they want to be managed, how do they want to be served? Suppose there's a predictable cycle of generations and historical change...
    [Audience: corporate leaders, public employers of all kinds, senior staff, Trustees.]

  • Content-creation -- "Authors? Start Here." Two trends - ebooks and self-publishing - have the potential of transforming both the publishing and the library landscape. Are you ready?
    [Audience: all staff, Trustees.]

  • Human resources and organizational culture-- "You're Hired!" You have 7 candidates, and 20 people who want to help pick the winner. This problem can be solved in two hours.
    [Audience: supervisors.]

  • Human resources and organizational culture -- "You're Fired!" The sad truth is this: some people just don't cut it. Keeping them around hurts your organization. They hold your organization hostage to their negativity. Are you looking for a compassionate and direct way to invite them out?
    [Audience: supervisors.]


Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development, Colorado State Library:

"Jamie LaRue has been a thought leader in Colorado libraries for almost two decades. He provides inspiring and illuminating talks with a calm and engaging style. I would recommend him for library staff days and keynotes on future of librarians, leadership, and intellectual freedom."

Comments from staff evaluations, Nebraska Library Leadership Institute Reunion, July 6, 2010 at St. Benedicts Retreat Center in Schuyler:
  • ...you all did a pretty darn good job of selecting a presenter who offered timely and ready-to-use information of great value.
  • Jamie brought up things that have been on our minds and what is the future of libraries. He gave us inspiration to move into the future.
  • What a passionate speaker!

Laura Burnett, Library Director, Jerome, Idaho:

"Your methods and approach are refreshing and inspirational to all of us who face the same issues you face in Colorado. Idaho is better thanks to your help."

Comments from staff evaluations, Henrico County Public Library, Richmond VA, Dec. 2009:
  • Very energetic, funny, and addressed relevant issues that could frighten staff in a manner that normalized those changes.
  • This speaker really had appeal for all groups within the system.
  • ... an interesting and provocative speaker.