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Robin Neidorf: Libraries and innovation centers

april 2012 231

Hi – I’m Robin Neidorf, the Director of Research for FreePint. My job involves scanning the information industry for emerging trends, concerns, and developments, and then turning those observations into practical research projects to support our customers with making information more visible and valuable in their organizations. It’s the best job ever. Our industry is incredibly dynamic, and there’s always something fascinating to dig into. My current obsession is understanding how information centers are transforming into innovation centers. 

In our customer-base (corporate and government information centers), there’s a lot of concern about “libraries” being old-fashioned, dying entities – “Why do we need a library when everything’s on the web for free?” At the same time, there is a small but growing number of organizations in which the information center is the most exciting place in the business, because it’s transformed into a hub of innovation, and everyone wants to be there.

I’m particularly excited to participate in C4L because I think a lot of public libraries have led the way in this transformation, and I’d like to know more about that journey. At FreePint, we haven’t studied the public library world very much, so this will be a great opportunity for me to get immersed in a different side of our industry.

On a personal level, I love travel (the photo is from a trip to Istanbul), and I’m excited to go back to Scandinavia — I was last there more than 20 years ago. The training has been a highlight of my summer. I’m still nervous about participating my longest bike trip ever, but I am sure it will be fine. 

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