During the two day summit last week in Vancouver on the Future of Libraries so many issues emerged, and so many thoughtful responses. I note here some of the issues but guest bloggers will contribute more context and elaboration, even a few answers, over the next few weeks… The future is not what it used to be! City managers and provosts are seeing less expensive options within their jurisdictions, whether preschool programs in community centers or space in cafeterias. Shared services is shining a spotlight on perceived duplication, and we are expensive. As we move into new areas (learning centers, after school programs, research support, maker spaces) others already occupy much of that space. Conversely, other public agencies are moving into “our” space. As senior staff is reduced, library directors are not immune. More are picking up related responsibilities for community centers and cultural institutions and even parking and dogs in cities while in universities, information technology, information management, learning services, bookstores, museums, are all being rolled together in one portfolio. It can no longer take two years to make decisions like integrating two desks. The world is moving faster than we are.
Via Karen du Toit