Of the MLA sessions I attended on Thursday (Nov 12th), I really appreciated some of the comments that George Needham shared in his presentation, “It Ain’t Necessarily So: Challenging the Assumptions of Legacy Librarianship”
I liked Mr. Needham’s presentation style (informal & humorous) and thought that the following “messages” of his were worth sharing. What do you think? :
- Is what we do or how we “present ourselves” still needed or wanted?
- Librarianship should present meaning because neither Google nor Amazon can.
- We need to “re-deploy Reference”- collaborate with other departments (academic libraries) and collaborate with City Council or city/township services (public libraries)
- Promote reading as a healthy activity; “Reading as an activity keeps humans out of nursing homes/help humans stay healthy. Promote, ‘Success through reading’ ”
- Kindle, ebooks, e-audiobooks, books in print- it doesn’t matter. We need to promote our assets. Our collections are better than most bookstores.
- As something becomes popular, we tend to ration it. Don’t ration new technologies/software in our libraries. When Internet access was first available in libraries we told our users that they had 20 minutes to use it.
- Get ourselves (our presence) on other library’s blogs and/or websites.
- Too often we expect our users to do things and find things using OUR way. Every time we ask our users to find our materials using OUR way, we’re asking them to make those left turns.
- Simplify the work area- keep it clear of too many handouts, fliers, bookmarks, etc.
- Keep our systems and signs free of jargon- the only people who know our systems and/or jargon are the people who don’t need to know!
- Keep the “gate-keeping” to a minimum. Use fewer rules and simplify the rules.
- Service desks should be placed in the stacks where they’re needed.