I think this homework is quite demanding ’cause there are so many multifaceted problems here … ; ) But thinking my perfect library – university or polytechnic library that offers access to vast collections of relevant printed and e-resources but still can provide expert personal information service – rises the question of resources. In practice we generally have either: Good collections or good professional service, how to have both? Questions of open access are my fav’ too.
Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
I work with communication at a University Library in Sweden. Mostly there’s communication in an external point of view, to our end users, but to have a good communication to users there’s also got to be good communication within the organization.
I have several key questions I would like to discuss. How do you get “everybody” on the train with new ideas (within the organization)? Just the other day I got the comment “But we’ve already tried that, it didn’t work..”.
As more and more communication goes on via text we have to start talking about what good communication is in digital text messages. Our end users today is living “their whole life” on the web and taking care of their business online – but we still have to be there to support and help. How do we do that when we lack eye contact, voice, tone, gestures and body language? I’ve held a small seminar on my workplace in this subject but I would be glad to discuss it further. Is it different between different libraries? How can you express “more” than just facts when you communicate with text? How important is it?
I work a lot with social media and find it to be a very good way of communicating with users. I want to hear your experiences and ideas! I also like the way social media brings the work place together – the staff is talking about what’s going on on Facebook on their coffee break. Can we develop this even further? Can we use these channels to create a creative spot for the staff to share about their daily work and thoughts (that I’m very curious about – I work in such a big library that it can be hard to keep track of all the people who work there.)?
I’m also interested in strategic communication planning. Have any of you done a plan and a follow-up in strategic communication? What was it about? Did it work?
Stockholm University Library
Does anyone remember the “old days”, not that many years ago, when there would be guys in a bar who used to make a bet with each other about some trivia question and then call the library to find the answer? Ever notice that those guys don’t call much anymore? Now that they have Google, Wikipedia, and a smartphone, they never think of calling the library. Are we no longer the ready-reference source of information for our communities?
At the same time, public libraries have always been the primary source of reading material for the recreational readers in our community and we have obsessively counted their every transaction; carefully noting the holds and circulation of bestsellers. And many public libraries have done the same with feature film videos and then DVD’s. Now, Netflix will send DVD’s into obsolescence and, perhaps e-readers will do the same to books.
When that happens, we have to be sure that we are still making a difference to the citizens of our towns. I have given two presentations this spring about envisioning the library one hundred years from now. My goal at Cycling For Libraries is to learn better ways to help my colleagues to envision a long-term future for their libraries, and to find the things they can start doing right now to reach that vision.
Vancouver Public Library
When I attended library school and the first twenty years of my career through the early 1990s, I adhered to the principle–as did my colleagues–of providing resources to a library user and let the individual decide which materials were best suited for the intended purpose. I did not and would not indicate which materials were best or prioritize them in any way. During that interim, the amount of information I could provide was finite. More than likely, the information in all of the resources I provided had been vetted by the publisher and then reviewers. I could be assured of the validity of the information I provided, no matter which resource the individual chose.
Now, with the World Wide Web, I can assist an individual by accessing any number of online catalogs and almost an infinity of additional resources which have been vetted in varying degrees from maximum to not at all. I have the extreme options of acting as an open flood gate that overwhelms an individual with materials or a gate keeper who, perhaps inadvertently, withholds information the individual could use. How do I balance these two functions?
Minnesota State Library Agency
My home work for cyc4lib will be to find at least 10 new things that will make our library more “green” and environmental friendly. 5 of these things should be something that can be used in the near future.
Espoo City Library
First of all, a great professional challenge for me will be communication in English, because I do not feel free yet to communicate in English. However, there is one issue I am very interested in – it is bibliotherapy. I would like to listen to colleague’s view on it. Do other colleagues have experience in this field? Is this method used in practice in libraries? Are professional psychologists involved in bibliotherapy? I would like to establish personal contact with colleagues who use bibliotherapy in practice.
“Sunny Days Library” Service Point of the Riga Central Library
at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital