Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CIL2012: Dig Deeper: Hot Topics Discussion

Track F today is somewhat of an unconference track.  In this session, we're able to digger deeper into a topic. Our table's topic is "Hey, that's not a library!"
  • The community of users should decide what the library is.
  • But in an academic library represented at the table, they don't allow their users to define anything!
  • One mayor being discussed doesn't understand any of the underlying philosophical ideas of libraries.
  • Defining libraries through the lens of collections vs. the lens of community.
  • Is a library about knowledge?  About information?
  • Libraries are at the nexus of people and information.
  • Will people drive/fly to visit a library?  If they have a special need.
  • One person's director (academic) is anti-digitization.  Wants people to come to the library.
  • Digitization acts like gravity.  Digital collections pull people toward them.
  • Keeping collections in paper means that you only want intent researchers to use the collections.
  • If a library loans non-books things (e.g., tools), is it still a library?  
  • Librarians as facilitators.  Helping people to be connected to information sources (even if the information is in another person).
  • If you were looking for the ideal librarian, what qualities would that person have?
    • Customer oriented
    • Facilitator
    • Engaged - an engaged person will do the right things
    • Commitment to specific beliefs
    • Librarianship is less about methodology than cultural orientation.
      • Software people are more optimistic about what they can do/build.  Blind to people's needs (those outside of their immediate circle).  Know that things can't be perfect.
Other tables:
  • Navigation the future of libraries
    • Need to remain agile
  • Library services in challenged areas
    • BTW Marshall Breeding is doing work in Columbia
    • Even serving users at a can be challenging because people come with different capabilities.
  • Social media
    • Some people do not have social media defined as part of their jobs.
    • How do you measure the services?
    • Could Twitter be the front end of an information desk service?
  • What is a library for?
  • Lending devices & challenges
    • What to lend?  How?  
    • Getting institutional buy-in. 
    • The importance of training staff.
  • Staff capacity
    • Shifting from what they are doing now to what they need to do in the future.
  • Learning commons
    • Here to stay
    • Communication needed if you set rules 
      • Can person have a pizza delivered to the library?
    • Hoe do you train personnel to operate in a learning commons?
  • Paperless libraries
    • Mobile content
    • Redefining space
    • What needs to remain in paper?
    • Maker space
  • Managing technology changes
    • Training
    • Communication
    • Chocolate (the "carrot" for training and communications)
  • Urban libraries
    • Recent Pew study

1 comment:

Greg Rothenberger said...

Some very interesting thoughts here. I'll need to take some time and see how I feel about a lot of this. I wish we'd had questions like this last month when doing our strategic planning sessions.