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We have the information – how are we going to get it to our users?

As part of an ongoing conversation concerning the need for public libraries to become more fluid in their ability to change to meet customer needs, I received this brief note from Laura Savastinuk, a librarian and coworker, which I want to post here:

In trying to start a dialog about the future of libraries, and specifically this work-in-progress concept of Library 2.0, we should begin by thinking broadly about what it is we are trying to achieve.  A clear, big-picture explanation of Library 2.0 will allow for a definitive starting point for determining the details and how this concept will apply to individual libraries.  This may seem simple or overly broad, but it will help us figure out where we are and where we want to go. 

As a starting point we should first acknowledge and accept that change is constant and necessary.  This is a simple concept that librarians seem to understand, but it really needs to remain at the forefront when designing and evaluating library services.  The libraries that really incorporate change into their development will be the ones that will best grab their users.  When discussing change, we should not only think about new ideas, but also consider changing what we already have.  Rather than become settled on a specific point, we should continually revisit and reevaluate our services.   If something doesn’t work, how can we change it?  Librarians cannot be afraid to rethink the way we serve our users, even – especially – if it means reevaluating processes we consider fundamental to library service. 

The way we serve our users needs to change continually to reflect the changing way they wish to be served.  With that in mind, for libraries it has become less about what we offer, and more about how we offer it.  We have the information – how are we going to get it to our users?