Abstract: In the real world of library service, librarians have to keep up with change by answering specific questions. They need training because technology, the character of populations, and local economics all are changing. Recognizing that technology is a catalyst of change, the author shows how librarians can and do work to help libraries harness the power of technology to navigate the changing reading and information needs of their communities.
You are here
future of libraries
The most recent issue of Information Technologies and Libraries (ITAL) has an article b Karim Tharani that does a nice job of explaining why BIBFRAME matters to libraries. The article, Linked DAta in Libraries: A Case Study of Harvesting and Sharing Bibliographic Metadata with BIBFRAME sounds less exciting than it is. It ends with this inspiring call to action:
In 2002, Roy Tennant wrote a Library Journal article entitled “MARC Must Die.” Sadly, the article remains relevant today. We are still saddled with MARC and we are still operating in a technological backwash when it comes to our library systems. And worse, we are isolated technologically because our attachment to MARC makes it impossible to participate in a meaningful way with the rest of the interconnected, web-based world.
I always enjoy those end-of-year activities that provide a synopsis of important things that happened, important people who died, and the endless lists of top ten songs, books, movies, and of course, trends. I particularly enjoyed the “10 trends shaping consumerism in 2015” put out by trendwatching.com. Although the title may be off-putting for some librarians, there are plenty of good ideas for libraries in that document. In fact, many of these new trends have been trends in libraries for decades, and it’s the rest of the world that appears to be catching up!
I just love this so I'm sharing it:
"Libraries must be places that create creators; foster makers, and push every man, woman, and child into active stewardship and becoming architects of great societies.
Are books valuable tools in that pursuit? Certainly…as are 3D printers, public access computing, technology classes, and community developed lecture series. Libraries in the states returned to the most fundamental definition of a library: a platform for the community to learn and teach.
Yes, libraries are safe places to encounter dangerous ideas, but they are also publishers of local culture and local expertise – not some paternalistic purveyors of literature. It's not about reading; it's about knowing. It's not about escape where libraries act as some sort of oasis, but engagement."
- R. David Lankes in Jelly Babies, Katrina, and Libraries (on CILIP blog)
As I've mentioned before, I'm always looking for ways to make a bigger impact in libraries. Moving more libraries into a state-of-the-art materials handling systems is one thing but getting them to redeploy staff to more productive activities is another. You can't just move someone who's been working at a circ desk all their career to a position where they are working hand-in-hand with community organizations or expect them to develop non-library services or develop non-traditional ways of delivering traditional services.
I just read (much too quickly) the Aspen Institute's report "Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries" and wow, is it fantastic!
The paper states that this is a time of "great opportunity" for communities and institutions who are willing to "champion new thinking and nurture new relationships" and that it is a "time of particular opportunity for public libraries with their unique stature as trusted community hubs and repositories of knowledge and information."
The paper provides a vision for libraries that is based on an "emerging model of networked libraries that promote economies of scale and broadens the library's resource reach while preserving its local presence."
In this vision, the key assets of the library are people, place and platform; and, the platform "provides opportunities for individuals and the community to gain access to a variety of tools and resources with which to discover and create new knowledge."
There are very practical suggestions which support the work I do including the importance of resource-sharing and collaborations across libraries. The report strongly states that we must move away from the "go it alone" approach, which, and this is partly my interpretation, we are too locked into because of the the ILS (integrated library system) model.