Doing more with less is a bad joke on people who have made a living making something from nothing. Two years ago George Needham was a speaker at my library’s staff day. I’m not sure these were his exact words, but it is pretty close and you get the idea. It stuck with me.
Libraries and librarians need to stop saying we can do more with less. We can’t. We can do less with less.
Our communities are continually demanding more from us – more formats for content, more space for things like games, meetings and creating both digital and physical things. These are all great things, things libraries should be doing.
At the same time libraries are also getting less – less financial support, less public opinion support, less consideration, less support and partnership from big publishers and producers, and chosen less often to partner with other organizations and businesses.
There are many ways to address these issues but one of the most important ones is stop saying we can do more with less. Because we can’t. We can do less with less. And until we are honest with ourselves and others we are going to keep getting less. Despite our “smile and make the best of it” attitude the hard truth is that less for us means less for our communities and they deserve more.
- It Takes a Library: It is Time to Change the Tone of the Conversation About the Future of Libraries #ittakesalibrary
- New Pew Report on the Value of Public Libraries in Communities
- Once a Librarian, Always a Librarian?