Wednesday, January 06, 2016

ALISE16 : Old Skills, New Practices Mean Radical Change for Library Education

I came in late to Deborah Turner's talk and found what I heard to be fascinating.  She talked about patrons really being connected to their public libraries and the need for the library/librarians to be vocal about the changes that are occurring (or will occur). She talked to patrons who are really invested in their libraries, who need to be kept informed so that they don't see the changes as being an affront or meant to turn them away from the library.  For example, when a staff member moves to a different branch, the patrons need to understand that this is not being done in order to turn them off.  She told a story of one library that repainted its walls and the patrons no longer felt like it was "their" library. Communication is key and likely over-communicating.

Turner's research is on underserved populations, but it is clear that the communication skills - including skills around small talk - are needed in every type of library.

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