Workshop: Reinventing Libraries Session One

Reinventing Libraries: People, Place and Purpose

This was the first of three workshops co-taught with Sharon and Dan Wiseman of Wiseman Consulting. We began the day with some ground rules — one conversation, suffering is optional, etc — and then Sharon presented some groundwork on the roots and traditions of libraries, librarians and our collective history. Sharon noted it’s amazing how many libraries started as Ladies’ Libraries back in the day.

Then we worked through these questions:

What is happening in Libraries (down the street and around the block)

What is true and not true about Libraries (Our roots, traditions, and assumptions)

How do we design libraries for a changing world

Where must we change

What actions can or should I take

I did my “Trends for 21st Century Libraries” talk, based in part on the OCLC Pattern Recgnition Report. The group had some great questions. I touched a bit on Technology, but most of that will be in Part 3.

The afternoon was sopent with Dan presenting the “Sacred Cow Round Up” — and this is where it got very interesting!

What are aspects of our profession or institution that we need to look at? What are some really new ways of looking at these aspects of library service? What is absolutely essential?

We placed flip chart pages labeled with the “Sacred Cows,” including Board Relations, Publicity, Financing and Technology, all around the room and the folks broke into groups to go around and brainstorm at each one. They would write what they thought on each one. This was absolutely incredible! The air of collaboration in the room was tangible.

The group then identified by voting with a dot or a line the most important bits on each one. Then, the folks were told to stand by the “Sacred Cow” they were most passionate about. Is that cool or what? If you are passionate about something, I think you may be in a better spot to create change. Nice!

We concluded by discussing Best Practices for each of the items that received the most votes and debriefed.

Steve Martin, from INCOLSA, has posted pictures:

Flip Charts:

The Workshop in Action:

I am really looking forward to getting back together with this forward-thinking group of Indiana Librarians. Have I mentioned here that Indiana Librarians Rock?