Participants 2014

Cory Stier: How do we manage our staff, technology, collections, and buildings to ensure an ongoing role for libraries in the future?


My name is Cory Stier.

This is a picture of me on top of the l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris after last year’s Cycling for Libraries tour.

Bonjour mes amis! Je m’appelle Cory Stier. J’habite au Canada dans la ville de Red Deer. Je parle un peu français, mais pas très bien. Il a été 20 ans depuis que j’ai étudié le français à l’école secondaire. Mais, je vais essayer!

Libraries are entering into a new era in which new technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and e-books are transforming the nature of the services that libraries provide. Over 1/2 of the reference interactions taking place in our library now are related to technological issues, but the staff that are working in the reference department are struggling with these types of issues because they were hired for their reference skills not their technical skills. How can we ensure that staff have the technical skills necessary to address the needs of the library’s patrons? As well, in our library, the number of books being circulated has not increased in a number of years and is starting to decline. Similarly, the number of people coming into the library is also in decline. What can be done to stop this decline of circulation and visits? What can be done to increase these numbers?

I’m also interested in new and innovative ideas that libraries have come up with to improve the customer experience. In particular, I am interested in new and interesting ways to integrate technology into library services. Also, as the size of print collections decline with the move to e-book formats, what are some innovative uses of the space that may be freed up in the library? We are exploring the makerspace idea at our library as one option, but I’d like to hear about other non-traditional uses of physical spaces.

Finally, I’m interested in ways to make the library a more comfortable, fun, and inviting place to be and to work. Sometimes I feel that as a profession, librarians get too wrapped in their jobs and forget the fun and joy of working in a library. I’d love to find ways to encourage staff (including myself) to rekindle their passion for libraries. I’d also like to find ways to change the public perception of libraries, so that libraries are not thought of as dusty tombs but as lively and enriching spaces that people want to be at.


I’m looking forward to seeing old friends from last year’s tour and meeting new friends on this year’s tour! See you in a few weeks! 🙂

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