Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

Library Directors and Change (It’s All Good)

This is an important one…one to ponder…

But it’s not just about giving people what they want. Leadership is about creating a vision that you can share with the board, with elected officials and business people, with the library’s clients, and most of all, with the library staff. (One of our side discussions during this meeting was about the importance of not blaming the staff for not being willing to change. If the leaders cannot explain the change and provide a reason for it, the problem lies not with the staff, but with their leaders.)

Thus, the importance of staff buy-in for projects, initiatives and change (with technology or otherwise). Pardon me, but adminstrators must be able to make the case for changes and COMMUNICATE them. We discussed this during the “Reinventing Libraries” workshop. One director told me he wanted to be as open and honest with his staff as possible, would ask them to change with him and would stand up for each and everyone of them and “take the blame” if something didn’t work out. Nice.

Am I a broken record? In our planning meetings, are we asking the right questions? How does it serve our users? How does it improve services? Are we sending the right message to the staff ij the right ways?

Watch blogs like “It’s All Good” — this is good stuff and cannot be ignored.

This is Important

“…we all know libraries are changing. The library workforce is changing and the nature of the job is changing. The more librarians know the lingo of the new tech world of fee-for-service models instead of you-bought-it-you-own-it models of yore, the better we will be able to advocate for our patrons to provide the best service for them and the best return for their investment in us. You don?t have to live on IM to understand why IM might be a good alternative to 24/7 ref. You don?t have to check your email 100 times a day to know why email is a good way to increase patron contact options. You don?t have to podcast to understand why podcasts are an interesting and homegrown alternative to increasingly centralized and depersonalized audio content.

In the same way we don?t all have to be graphic novel fans to select them and realize their value for our patrons, we don?t all have to become cyborgs to realize the value of technology to our patrons, and the way technology can change lives, whether people access it in libraries or not. I?ll be presenting a lot of ideas librarians should, in my opinion, be learning about not as a way to say ?Hey dork, if you don?t know about this you?re falling behind!? or even ?All libraries should have this!? but as a way to say ?When the time comes for you to decide if your library needs this, and that time will come, here are the things you?ll need to help you make that decision.? Smart librarians make smart choices and I?d like to help all of you get smart, no foolin?.”

Word of the day: resonate. This resonates deeply with me. the first paragraph is all about being “in the know.” When I write about those meetings that take place in libraries where people talk tech someone needs to be in the know! That doesn’t mean you all have to be geeks BUT I want knowledgable people around my meeting room table. The second paragraphs dances with one of my favorite terms: technolust! “All libraries should have this! Uh, guess what? No, they shouldn’t. All libraries should use the tools of technology to meet their mission and fulfill their users needs. Just sayin’.

Lippincott’s Net Generation Students & Libraries

Lippincott notes:

Libraries could use part of their home page to highcell phones, send simple text-message queries to library catalogs or databases, or check library hours via text messaging. Such services might be particularly valuable for students who live off campus. How will we conceive and design these new services?

Net Gen Info Services include:
Use students on teams that design new services and environments
Integrate services into course management systems
Explore services for mobile devices
Represent services and instruction visually and in multimedia modes
Focus on partnership models
Emphasize how to evaluate information resources
Emphasize information policy issues

Lippincott’s piece is aimed at academic settings but guess what? These same insights and service directions fit for public libraries and school media centers too. Is your information policy up to date for new methods of delivery and inquiry, Public Librarian? Does your School Media Center offer collaborative blogging for various research assignments, School Librarian?

Download this one and give it a read.