Thursday, July 5, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
- Use physical spaces differently; use physical technology to create the best environment for our patrons
- Take advantage of technology whenever possible
- Different spaces for different people (e.g., teens, seniors)
- Build the Library IT department--no more "accidental systems librarians"--become tech savvy from within the library in order to get things done.
- Good ideas for physical technology: central sorting systems; self check kiosks; automated check-in; compact shelving for staff access storage areas (now available with automated retrieval systems); University of Chicago compared costs of storage options and publicly accessible shelves--public shelving is the most expensive; adequate space for staff with ergonomically designed furniture.
- Strive to provide the patron a productive (convenient) experience: home delivery of materials.; more library outlets: kiosks in malls, bookmobiles with computers for public use, book drops around town (not just at the library), option to return materials through the mail.
- Challenges to catalogs: usability, findability, remixability.
- Google calendar can be used for events listings
- The library website is NOT a marketing tool, it is a service point. The patron is looking for information, often self-service resources.
- Commenting is essential in digitized, online collections and in the catalog.
- Don't let the library staff size stop you from trying to change things to benefit the patron experience.
- Technology is a tool used by people to accomplish goals.
- Decision-making for application of technology: understand the needs of your users; consider your mission & priorities; get advice; how new is the technology? is it proven yet?; pilot or prototype is a good way to test something new.
- Hire the right people: ability to learn constantly (self-learners); flexible; project management experience; excellent communication skills; critical thinking skills about technology.
- Project: institutional support is essential to succeed; training and documentation; market new services.
- Every technology (except toilet paper) eventually dies. Run the numbers to analyze if it is time to end something.
- Create agile organizations: use standing committees for communication--use task forces to get work done.
- Be a change agent: being knowledgeable and connected is essential; read outside the profession; strategic partnerships (like with IT); exploit and create opportunities.
- Good characteristics for change agents: ability to think cautiously and critically about technologies; ability to listen and to empathize; ability to communicate simply and well; work to find solutions to valid objections; great sense of humor.
- Strategic learning: learn enough to get by; learn when you have a problem to solve--learn it just in time, not just in case; find someone experienced to show you 3 important things; find and use a good reference book or website.
The presenters offered some excellent advice. Technology can provide libraries with opportunities to present the communtites we serve with better service by instituting more self-service points and removing barriers from our traditional methods of service. Use Netflix as a model for delivery--I think this is a fantastic idea. I like the idea of being a change agent to implement technology and to provide the best service to our community. The bottom line is that our patrons are becoming more and more self-service oriented and the more libraries adapt to this change, the more viable we will remain as a source of information.