Laura Swaffield from the Library Campaign has rightly pointed out to me that I missed out her report a few days ago. The Campaign’s statement is, belatedly, below: Library Campaign’s call to action: “Let’s Get Real” 1.
Although I’ve been in the profession only a decade, I’ve seen plenty of hyped-up ideas cycle through over the years. In 2006, every library had to have a blog. By 2008, every library had to have a Facebook page and a gaming program or collection. Right now, makerspaces are all the rage. And by 2014 it’ll be something else. These things aren’t necessarily bad. In many cases, they’re quite good and useful, and they point libraries in positive directions. However, hype can also blind librarians to what is a right fit for their institutions.
As librarians, we know the value of our community services, and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued, and occasionally under fire. When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever....
I was recently invited to sit with a panel of library "CEOs" at the 2013 BC Library Conference to discuss issues that keep us all "up at night". When I first began pondering the question, my reaction was, "what doesn't keep me up at night?!" In order to teach a wide variety of courses, manage site visits and field placements, mentor students, and encourage community engagement, I find myself observing and experiencing many changes to the profession of librarianship, technology and human behaviour. After some reflection, I was able to channel my concerns into one thread of thought that appears to inform many of the other issues that I see at play. The following content is distilled from my portion of the presentation.
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." --- Albert Einstein, 1879-1955.
The New York Public Library’s newest branch is going to sparkle like fine crystal.The W. 53rd St. center will be an airy, vibrant structure with multiple public spaces, modern computer labs, an audio-video collection, and walls of books, library officials said Monday as they unveiled new renderings of the three-story facility designed by Enrique Norten’s TEN Arquitectos.Meanwhile, the city is sucking dry its existing libraries.
The increasingly digital context brings challenges and opportunities for librarians, library staff, archivists, and museum professionals. New roles and the competencies required to perform them are evolving. One overriding role for all of us is that of the leader. The complexity of the changes we experience leads to many unfamiliar situations in which deep learning is necessary to successfully work through the problems and challenges. Scholar Warren Bennis calls these “crucible” experiences.
OverDrive and Sourcebooks are preparing to launch an innovative and ambitious pilot program whose goal is to clearly demonstrate the impact library ebook lending has on book sales and author recognition.
The readers’ palace on W. 53rd St. will be an airy, vibrant structure full of public space, modern computer labs, an audio-video collection and — of course — walls of books, library officials said Monday.
The purpose of this paper is to promote discussion across the sector between library leaders, information service providers, vendors, practitioners, students, commentators, colleagues in Australia and internationally – anyone and everyone with an interest in the field. The paper is intended to engage, excite, provoke. It is not our blueprint for the future.
The feedback we receive through various fora will help us create a final document towards the end of the year. The findings of this project will enable us to review the strategic direction of the Association and develop our new strategic plan for 2015.