Lets start with a question: By the year 2020 what should world libraries look like?
In a world were google and bing have taken over, it is actually quite fortunate that libraries do not have to compete with these two search engines. Instead, libraries have to complement the two based on their strengths and weaknesses…… and yes, they do have weaknesses.
Access is very important; knowledge has to be put anywhere and everywhere enabling library users to find it. When talking of knowledge it is also important to take note of the difference between physical and intellectual access.
Collaboration is the keystone of knowledge; collaboration occurs when we are able to partner with our users. Libraries should never forget that they are learning environments, were people learn from each other, absorb and adapt in an economically viable way.
Another question: What do libraries stand for?
1. Libraries deliver at all times
2. Libraries know and understand why knowledge fits
3. Libraries can explain and contextualise knowledge
4. Libraries should be in a position of knowing how users learn and interact
Libraries own content, they have it, they know how to find it and they know how to deliver. Libraries know how to make it fit in, organise it and use it. This then is our bread and butter!
Libraries also remind its users that they are all about informing, learning, sharing, discovering and socialising.
All the aforementioned pieces of the puzzle are needed to meet the 2020 vision: a single part or certain parts will not do. Moreover: libraries need to respect all forms of knowledge; either in print or electronic…..it’s all knowledge.
To recap: here are the complete pieces to the puzzle: Access, Collaboration, Learning, Context, Content, Research.
The focus should be on the experience needed or required by the users and not what libraries feel comfortable with. Libraries should never forget that a primary goal is to deliver.
Other questions to think about: What should libraries be spending their money on?
Does the library culture have anything to do with the success of the library? Yes it has everything to do with it.. visit Stephens presentations for the right recipe
There will be reasons why libraries will resist change….there will always be reasons. And also excuses, excuses, excuses….libraries should see reasons and not excuses; librarians should refrain from talking themselves out of their future.
Stephen’s Lighthouse blog: http://stephenslighthouse.com
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