Librarian by Day Bobbi Newman | I'm not that kind of librarian

We’re barely treading water, what will keep us from drowning?

03.25.2009 · Posted in Digital Services, Librarianship, Libraries, Video

Start with this, I did

Now think about this – How do libraries fit into this picture? As far as I can tell the technologies we’re struggling to adapt to and implement might very well be outdated by the time we’re ready to start using them.  That’s not good. Right now technologies are running by and we’re still crawling to keep up.  What does it mean? Maybe we can’t keep up, maybe we should stop focusing our energy there, at least temporarily.  Let’s face it we’ve been talking about the next gen OPAC for how many years?  Would our time be better spent elsewhere?  Maybe we need to look at changing our organizational structure and mindset first.  Then we’ll be better equipped to keep pace.  Perhaps becoming more fluid and ready to adapt much more rapidly to change as it happens?     Because right now I see two problems

  1. The level of online service and interactions patrons  take for granted is not being met by libraries.  Not even the most cutting edge, front line, tech savvy ones.  
  2. The technologies and trends the most cutting edge, front line, tech savvy libraries are preparing may not longer be relevant by the time they implement them or become obsolete soon there after.

We’re barely treading water here people and I don’t think another blog post about how your library can use Twitter or an article about website usability is going to keep us from downing.  We’ve got to change, and I mean really change.  

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6 Responses to “We’re barely treading water, what will keep us from drowning?”

  1. Shon Barnes says:

    I think this is a great observation. I guess one of the questions I have is how do libraries become more in the “now” as opposed to playing catch up traditionally..

  2. This is definitely an issue in the media library world. We seem to be in an endless circular discussion about what the next streaming and pricing models will be, meanwhile Netflix and Amazon keep adding to their streaming collection and Blockbuster just announced it will start streaming titles through TiVo. The head of IMDB recently announced that they want to stream all the titles in their database (which isn’t realistic since many of those titles don’t even exist). Certainly, these services are still working out some issues, but these services are certainly forging ahead in ways that libraries are not.

  3. [...] 25 03 2009 The Librarian By Day has a great post and question today titled “We’re barely treading water, what will keep us from drowning?”  with which everyone who is aware of the tumultuous changes taking place should be [...]

  4. [...] 25 03 2009 The Librarian By Day has a great post and question today titled “We’re barely treading water, what will keep us from drowning?”  with which everyone who is aware of the tumultuous changes taking place should be [...]

  5. pcsweeney says:

    @librarianbyday word

  6. [...] our situation, we still don’t have any answers. In a blog post more than a year ago Bobbi Newman pointed to this problem, but rather than offering solutions she ends with the (admittedly potent) line, “We’ve [...]

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