Some basic guidelines to consider:
Know your history - why do libraries exist? What are the basic services they have provided over the years?
How have these services changed through the years? New formats? Emphasis on collections? Audiences? When fiction books were first introduced into public library collections a hue and cry went up - librarians felt they had a moral obligation to provide educational materials, not sleazy fiction!! Was the cry any less loud when DVDs, and contemporary music CDs were introduced into the collections!? And now computer games - WHAT gaming in libraries - NO!! Oh yeah, gaming in libraries - bring that and more into our world!
What relevant services should we be offering our public? Some librarians still want to produce buggies and some want to branch out adding coffee shops, while others wouldn't mind becoming a local WAWA - get your books and gas up at the same time! Or even worse let's pretend we are bookstores and totally negate the information organization and retrieval principles and values that we have refined over the years.
How did you answer the earlier Question: What is our basic service?
In my opinion libraries open the doors of possibilities and life long learning to the world of people we serve. We do it within dwindling budget constraints and with competing industries that also provide what used to be our own little niche of knowledge.
- How would you define a modern library?
- List the top five services we should provide for our customers.
- How should technology impact and change the services we provide?
- Describe an innovative way libraries could capitalize on new technologies
- What advertising and marketing campaign would move us from the libraries of old to being the hot new APP in town? Imagine having a AD campaign with the astronauts using their mobile library APP to research sun spot data while in space!! Libraries to infinity and beyond !!
And remember ideas without actions are useless. Individual librarians will be the catalyst of change. As more librarians add their voices to OUR future and the future of all libraries we will improve as a profession. To remain silent is to cease to exist. OUR choice.