Emerging Technology Planning: Using Instagram to Promote the Library

INTRODUCTION

Libraries need to adapt to changes and technology for the purpose of communication, and the amazing tools of social media make this possible. Instagram is a free image-based social media curation tool that gives the user the power to collect, organize, share, and interpret content, while telling a digital story to their audience. By utilizing this curation tool it’s possible to connect, engage, and expand library communities while also highlighting and promoting areas of the library collection, events, programming, and its people.

Instagram was created in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Captured through an app on a smartphone or tablet, it’s used to post photos and 15-second videos which allow users to bring the visual language of digital storytelling to life with their narratives. Users can also post short captions with their photos (up to 2,000 characters) which can help in further engaging with the library community while showcasing the libraries brand. Additionally, Instagram posts integrate seamlessly with other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr, with its functionality being similar to these other networks in that the user can “Like” and comment on others’ photos, using hashtags to discover and connect with like-minded users. Hashtagging photos also makes it easier for people who are online searching for specific terms to find posted photos, so if the right hashtags are used within photos, it’s possible to reach new users and to be discovered by even more users in the process. As stated on the website Tentacle Inbound, “This participation differs from other social media platforms, where it’s more about pushing OUT to your audience, rather than pulling them IN to your business and your brand”.

Other popular features of Instagram include editing features that allow users to apply digital filters to so they can edit and change the look of their images. Visual content dominates our screens today. Photos allow people to express themselves in any language. The world is fluent in photos and videos, with the platform of Instagram allowing digitally connected individuals to connect and come together, serving as a place where teens and adults can go to discover what’s new, what’s next, and what their friends are doing while providing an instant connection to a community.

PLAN

GOALS/OBJECTIVES

By implementing and maintaining an Instagram account and continually posting new, interesting and engaging photos the library will engage with and grow followers in its community of library users.

Through Instagram photos and videos the library can showcase their spaces, displays, architecture, collections, events, staff, and users, telling a collective story of the vital role that the library plays in the community. As stated by Public Libraries Online, an Instagram account can be “a powerful marketing tool that has the potential to inspire visitors to view the library as a destination”.

COMMUNITY TO ENGAGE

People go to social media to get instant content at their fingertips. Social media is fun and popular. Around the world there are more than 500 million Instagrammers with more than 300 million daily users with people openly capturing and sharing their world in visually creative ways with one another. Instagram can thus benefit the library and the community in remarkable ways by helping it to stay current and relevant, and by allowing for people everywhere to connect and engage with each other.

Three quarter of teens (13 to 17 year olds) are online almost consistently due to having access to the Internet via smartphones. With social media naturally engaging students, an Instagram account can help them to explore and be part of the online library community as well.

The Pew Research Center Social Media Update 2016 states that 32 % of Internet users (28% of all U.S. adults) are using and engaging with Instagram, to a greater extent than the other social platforms of Facebook and Twitter, and that Instagram use is especially high among younger adults. Roughly six-in-ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram, nearly double the share among 30- to 49-year-olds (33%) and more than seven times the share among those 65 and older (8%), with female internet users more likely to use Instagram than men (38% vs. 26%). Roughly half (51%) of Instagram users said they access the platform on a daily basis, with 35% saying they do so several times a day.

Instagram thus plays a significant role in the lives of Millennials and Gen-Z. As they learn about the world, discover their passions, connect with friends, and find more communities to tap into, they consistently rely on visual language and storytelling.

https://fbinsights.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/describe-ig-as1.png

The ways we communicate have changed so much. Humanity has had a variety of communication tools over the centuries from books, journals, and articles, to the Internet and email, electric devices and texting. In the 21st century our communication tools have underwent further sweeping changes with online ejournals, ebooks and the media-sharing platforms of websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. With such a variety of communication technologies, libraries need to establish and foster a professional online presence using media-sharing platforms to expand their online visibility, connecting with people of similar interest and making an impact in and beyond the community of library users connecting with an external audience. By becoming more skilled at communication and using new technologies, the beneficial impact on the libraries ability to acquire funding and community support could additionally greatly be affected in positive ways.

ACTION BRIEF STATEMENT

CONVINCE the Library Director and Library Board THAT BY engaging with and supporting an Instagram initiative THEY WILL expand the libraries community and visibility WHICH WILL benefit the library, its mission, staff, and community of users BECAUSE it will encourage priceless engagement and participation.

EVIDENCE AND RESOURCES

The following are informative online articles and resources:

MISSION, GUIDELINES, AND POLICY

The primary mission of implementing this social media technology is to be able to expand the libraries reach by communicating and engaging with the community of library users, and possibly extending it to more users.

The Social Media Librarian who would be the point person of this initiative would connect with library staff to inquire who would be interested in participating and maintaining an Instagram initiative. They would then develop a social media committee with interested staff and appropriate IT support staff. The committee could additionally research the experiences of other public libraries to help design the scope of the libraries Instagram initiative. Keeping up with Instagram trends is essential to better reach, and ultimately grow an audience. Great Instagram content is great for a reason–it’s fun and hip and people enjoy viewing it. And if you’re lucky, users will share it with others which will further help build the libraries brand on Instagram.

The library can then start simple by telling its story, sharing photos from its archive, behind-the-scenes photos of the cataloging room or book drop, programs and events, covers of books and displays. By beginning with posting at least once a day, the library will build an audience, gaining a valuable online presence. Also, by following other libraries and library lovers we can further our online Instagram community. By using this new technology and engaging with library users, this effort will keep the library relevant and up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends.

FUNDING

With Instagram being a free platform, all we really need is the Social Media Librarian and any interested staff member to share their creativity and a few minutes a day to make meaningful, fun, and lasting connections with the community. But, to be truly effective using social media connections, graphics, caption copy-writing, conversation, and photography skills should strive to be, positive, professional, and on point.  Staff participants will need to teach themselves such skills. Perhaps even providing training sessions for those interested in participating and contributing to the curated posts. Using social media for library, literacy, book, and program promotion is all about storytelling, and we would want the libraries feed to be influential, personal, relevant, humorous, and educational.

ACTION STEPS & TIMELINE

Once the Library Director and Library Board has approved the initiative, the Social Media Committee will be created which will include the Social Media Librarian, the Digital Services Librarian, and at least one member of the IT staff. If other staff members show interest and commitment in participating they can be included as well.

  • Begin a 2-3 month organizational and preparation time period prior to launching the Instagram account
  • Research relevant and popular hashtags to be used in our own campaigns from free online programs like IconoSquare or Websta. It’s been established that some popular hashtags for libraries are: #libraryshelfie #bookstagram #librarylife #librariesofinstagram #libraries #librariestransform #bookface #bookfacefriday #libraryinmyhand #librarianwardrobe #librarianstyle
  • Establish types of posts the library will use to engage the community of users
  • Look at what other libraries were following
  • Create video book promotions staged as mini-commercials, trailers, or as book talks
  • During this preparation time ask staff to participate in a contest to determine the libraries Instagram name
  • Begin to market the account by preparing an announcement that will to go out in the libraries email newsletters, on all of the program flyers, and on the website

 

https://madefreshly.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/instagram_graphic2_small.jpg

STAFFING CONSIDERATIONS

Get staff involved! Let everyone take turns taking a week to promote the library and providing Instagram content. This will expand the richness of what the library offers by sharing what the people of the library do, information about the collection and programs, who the community partners are, and what services the library offers to the community.

TRAINING

Through information sessions, staff who have interest in taking on the responsibility will dive into the Instagram community getting involved, commenting, following, and liking other library’s photos, and even other Instagramers and people in the community as well. With a willingness and passion to post the library will create a fun and encouraging online environment that will translate into the account, and hopefully people will see this and follow us.

PROMOTION AND MARKETING

The library will announce the account in our email newsletters, on our program flyers, and on our website homepage. We’ll also make social media bookmarks to put in our patron’s holds, and place them in strategic locations around the library so our library patrons will see them and hopefully pick them up and read them. We’ll also pass them out at author events and programming, and of course use all of our other social media accounts to announce that we are starting an Instagram account as well. We’ll place the social media icon on our email signatures too. There is also word of mouth. We’ll ask staff to spread the word and tell their friends, family, and coworkers. We’ll engage our community of patrons and tell them that we’ll have this account and we’re using it to share events and special moments that happen within our library. We’ll also have the social media committee reach out into the local community to post pictures outside of the library.

We can also begin to follow other library Instagram accounts by liking a lot of pictures and commenting on them. Libraries are changing today and we need to develop and except new ways of reaching out to our community, and just being on a platform like Instagram is a testament to that. So collaborating and reaching out to fellow libraries in our system or just in general, and being open to working on projects together is a good thing to do.

EVALUATION

Once the account is up and running, staff will make a point to log what trends and posts are the most popular, and which ones have the most interest. By managing the account we’ll make sure that there are consistent posts that the public find engaging.

CONCLUSION

Instagram is a very important social media platform that libraries can easily utilize and populate showcasing what’s going on in the library with fun photos which can result in ways to engage and expand our community of users. It also has the power to build awareness by fostering a community of library lovers, and reaching out and engaging a younger generation of readers. Millennials and teens are the future of the library so we must engage with them where they are. By taking the time to build a community where they hang out the library will be ensuring that the library’s community never stops growing, remaining relevant to its community of users.

 

References

And, A. K. (2016, January 01). Amanda Kraft. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://crln.acrl.org/content/77/1/10.full

Becker, T. (2016, March 09). How and Why 13-24 Year-Olds Use Instagram. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/01/how-why-13-24-year-olds-use-instagram/

Greenwood, S., Perrin, A., & Duggan, M. (2016, November 11). Social Media Update 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

Holzer, M. (2016, April 28). 20 Ways to Make People Fall in Love With Your Instagram: A Guide for Libraries and Other Cultural Institutions. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from https://www.nypl.org/blog/2014/12/23/20-ways-make-people-fall-love-your-instagram-guide-libraries-and-other-cultural

Horizon Report (2016): http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN.pdf

How To Build A Massive Following On Instagram – Shopify. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2017, from https://www.shopify.com/blog/14288561-how-to-build-a-massive-following-on-instagram

Libraries of Instagram. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2015/06/libraries-of-instagram/

Measuring Progress. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2017, from http://tametheweb.com/2008/04/15/measuring-progress/

Seiter, C. (2016, July 25). How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from https://blog.bufferapp.com/instagram-grow

10 Tips for Small Business Instagram Success. (2016, October 04). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://tentacleinbound.com/articles/10-tips-smb-instagram-success

The Future of Libraries

Libraries are the doors to information, knowledge, and imagination. A community open space for all. Therefore, the space of the library is for the community and should be developed with their needs in mind.

At the start of my LIS graduate work I was introduced to the idea of libraries being a third place for the community. This space being not home, not work or school, but in fact a third place where people can feel welcome, inspired, and comfortable to engage with the community of users. I loved this discovery! How many times I’ve discussed this idea with my fellow library co-workers I can’t really say. It’s a lot. Let’s just say it made me happy to think of libraries this way. I love being part of offering an open space of information where people of all ages and educational levels can have learning and engaging experiences.

And now through our readings we’re expanding upon this knowledge, moving beyond the idea of a third space to what comes next. This being a community space that truly is an open space for all! A space not limited to what we may think a library is, but instead a new community space that becomes a living place and hub of knowledge for the community where minds can truly gather and meet. A space where people can not only have access to literature and information but also a space that enhances the community space where people feel they are welcomed to learn, to explore and discover, to engage and interact, and most of all a space that allows for growth of the community. This flexible library space itself should be continually growing with the living community, offering a space for all to learn and grow, and to share ideas to make things better.

In his article Dream. Explore. Experiment. Professor Stephens highlights Marie Østergård’s groundbreaking ALA conference presentation on the Dokk1, Aarhus Public Libraries, with her stating that “We designed our libraries for people, not books” as innovative places for the changing community. Professor Stephens additionally states that libraries should be filled with life, sound, art, and inspiration, and woven with experience, involvement, and empowerment.

Libraries are the centers where knowledge gathers. Created to house information we want others to have access to, they should then be considered a place where the community gathers as well. A knowledge hub. With the Four Space model developed by Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science professors, this illustrates the evolving library as an inspiration space, a learning space, meeting space, and performative space, all of which overlap and intersect allowing for the community to “Excite. Explore. Create. ­Participate.”

 

But to do this the needs and ideas of the community need to be met through open dialog, encouraging the exchange of ideas. By engaging with the community and incorporating their needs and ideas, this will keep the library relevant, vibrant, and growing into the future along with the community. As Marie Ostergaard, head of community engagement at Dokk1 describes, the Danish cultural center is the “living room of the city”, alive with a pulse, feeling and knowledge. She also states that “different cities will have different needs so libraries need to be different all over the world”. To create a space not just for books but a place that focuses on knowledge and human needs we should be continually engaging and connecting with the community. This will help libraries to understand the needs and ideas of what the community wants for the future, creating a place that encompasses the whole needs, ideas and energy of the community.

 

References

Dream. Explore. Experiment. | Office Hours. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2017, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/05/opinion/michael-stephens/dream-explore-experiment-office-hours/#_

L. (2015, April 27). PL2020 Tour – Denmark – A knowledge hub for the community. Retrieved March 8, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFfbjs8aZo

Moving Beyond the “Third Place”. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/library-design-moving-beyond-third-place/

Connecting in our Participatory Culture

Nearly every article in this module inspired me with many giving me aha moments as I read, but it was the idea of connecting in our participatory culture and how that can influence the future of libraries that I decided to write about.

In his article The Age of Participation, Professor Stephens states how in this era of hyper-connected social participation, “building connection and seeking ways to engage the public and promote curiosity challenge us all”, with libraries becoming centers for discovery, learning, and also creation. Thus, in our participatory culture the library can and should promote transparency, access and enrichment by listening to and connecting with the community of library users. In fact, libraries all over the world are realizing the discovery that in order to develop the public space of the library for our future, there is a need for transparency and openness with our community connections. More and more libraries are adopting the approach of collecting public input through workshops and meetings before the design phase of new library spaces even begin, enabling the library user’s ideas and experiences to contribute and affect design decisions by collaborating with the designers and architects. In the article User-Designed Libraries: Design4Impact the author Ian Chant discusses how teen librarian Erik Berman noted, “We as librarians know what we want and what we can offer. But when we go into the community to find out what they want, we end up with a much better space.” Thus, by making the effort to connect with the community through focus groups and social media avenues and to not just ask what patrons want but to get them involved with the creation of the library as a community space, we therefore succeed at strengthening the libraries place in the community.

This also helps to create a trusted and treasured place and space that feels and functions the way the user needs and wants. It gives the community and users ownership of that third space; a space where users are welcomed and safe, and have trust. They live in it and it helps them to enrich, learn and empower themselves. That may sound like a tagline I know, but it’s true! We want our communities to see the library as a space that belongs to them; a space where they’re welcomed, and a place where they can aspire to do great things. One of the reasons the library exists is in fact for the user, so it makes perfect sense that they should be involved in every aspect of its creation, for making the library better. And in order to accomplish this, libraries need to engage with the community and their users, and to encourage participation and collaboration. By making such efforts to understand what role a library space needs to play and what resources it needs to offer its users will certainly help the library to bridge the digital and communication divides of today, to strengthen the future of the library tomorrow.

As stated by Professor Stephens in his article Collection Bashing & Trashing, taking efforts to “building services and planning for the future with participation and feedback from all stakeholders” will give all those involved, including the community, a sense of ownership to the library as a space, creating a priceless sense of support by all who have advocated for the library, and conserving its place as a community space. With such tremendous efforts we will be safeguarding the future of the library. Furthermore, by creating, connecting, and providing more meaningful services, public libraries will continue to be an important institution as part of a well-functioning society.

The library is a free place that offers amazing services to its community and users. Services which help to educate users in ways that can better lives by providing programming that includes indispensable topics such as job hunting resources, financial and resume workshops, computer skill classes, and even new educational movements such as MakerSpace’s, STEM and STEAM programming, all of which have the power to expand what the library offers to the community. It all helps to educate people of any age group and education level. Such services are priceless especially to those who can’t afford to pay for such services.

Therefore, in order to design the future of the library the community of library users should be fully involved in the libraries planning and development, playing the role as innovator of the libraries future. Because of our technology, access to the Web and social media, like no other time in history we’re truly connected with the world and with each other. Our library users are so well informed and thus should be involved and given the opportunity to participate in the development of our libraries. By engaging and connecting with our participatory culture, such efforts and actions will surely benefit us all for generations to come.

References

Chant, I. (n.d.). User-Designed Libraries | Design4Impact. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/10/opinion/design4impact/user-designed-libraries-design4impact/

Stephens, M. (n.d.). The Age of Participation | Office Hours. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/02/opinion/michael-stephens/the-age-of-participation-office-hours/

Stephens, M. (n.d.). Collection Bashing & Trashing | Office Hours. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/08/opinion/michael-stephens/collection-bashing-trashing-office-hours/

Leading with Kindness

Context Book Assignment: Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results by William Baker and Michael O’Malley

Stressing that the development of kindness as a leadership trait is often overlooked if not scorned outright, the authors explore that the best leaders in fact lead with kindness, stating that being kind is truly one of the most crucial attributes of some of the world’s most successful business leaders. The book point’s out that true kindness can demonstrate a powerful confidence in oneself which can then expand to those you lead. Thus, the elements and ingredients of kindness necessary are a combination of quantifiable, learnable, and refinable traits and skills which are not just optional character traits that are simply nice to have, but instead “are required if you want to be an effective leader”. These traits being: compassion, integrity, gratitude, authenticity, humility, and humor.

I found the authors description of compassion very compelling, stating that it’s necessary for organizational effectiveness because it provides employees with that extra amount of strength they need to perform, whether it’s overcoming their personal problems or job specific challenges. The leader must have empathy and to understand what another person is feeling, and to care enough to do something about it. It is the leaders who must believe in a meaning in life and wish that for others. By keeping employees engaged and performing, leaders come to realize that productive employees are in fact happy employees.

I liked that the author’s further postulate that leadership is in fact an art, making the connection between leadership and art being grounded in basic human truths and filled with humanity. The author’s state that both leadership and art have the same goal of asking us to look at the world in a different way, and to engage and live in the world which will then “challenge us to think more deeply and fully about the human experience, what we want for ourselves, and what we hope to be” (pp. 136).

Another trait necessary for of kindness that truly stood out for me was gratitude. Personally, I had a boss who never thanked his staff members. I recall a conversation we had when I shared my experience as a supervisor, stating that I would often thank those I worked with. He responded saying he would never do that. I didn’t probe further, but I thought this was so sad because I’ve always felt it’s a supervisor’s responsibility to develop a good relationship with staff and co-workers, and that this can certainly be accomplished by showing gratitude. By not showing appreciation and gratitude, people never know if they’re doing a good job. Part of being a leader is caring about those you lead, and if that can’t be expressed, then perhaps that person shouldn’t be leading. By never giving praise people are left wondering and possibly never knowing if they’re doing a job well. Therefore, positive feedback is good for so many reasons! It supports the mission of the business itself by making sure those doing the work are being taken care, having a sense of making a difference. Without feeling worthy and appreciated who would want to do the work? People want to be inspired to put real pleasure into their job, but to do this they must get something out of it as well. As the book reminds us, leadership is “achieving success by making other people successful.” (pp. 55).

I truly wish that everyone could experience kind leadership in the workforce. Imagine working for someone who works collaboratively with others, who believes in you and wishes the best for you, encouraging you to express an idea or to challenge a convention. Imagine working for someone you trust. We should all be so lucky.

I recently read an article published in the curious mind magazine titled Harvard Psychologists Reveal: Parents Who Raise ‘Good’ Kids Do These 5 Things in which the findings state the importance of teaching children that “caring about others is a top priority and that it is just as important as their own happiness.” I know were talking about kids here, but shouldn’t this ring true for adults as well? Sharing is caring after all. And that’s what we do at the library. We share information, we share knowledge, and why? Because we care.

It’s often said that working in public libraries, one must also be empathetic towards library users, their daily lives and what they’re trying to accomplish. From Steve Denning’s article Do We Need Libraries?, the author discusses forward looking libraries and how in this Creative Economy of self-organizing teams, they can deliver value directly to customers by getting constant feedback from them. The customer then becomes the center of the organizations universe rather than being on the periphery, with management’s central goal changing insuring that customers are delighted and have an added value. The manager’s role can then change from controller to coach by providing encouragement and supporting the values of enablement, self-organization and continuous improvement.

Library users can be those who don’t have 15 cents to pay for a print job or two dollars to pay a book fine, or someone whose printer just broke down and they need to print a copy of their resume for a job interview. I’ve helped many patrons who are all dressed up and on their way to an interview and are desperate to print a copy of their resume, not realizing that it costs 15 cents per page to print. I’ve had patrons panic when I tell them this, and if the library worker isn’t empathetic towards their situation, our actions can actually cause damage. We could cause the patron to miss an important chance to perhaps change their life for the better. They need the services the library offers, so staff must additionally offer kindness and empathy towards their plight. Professor Stephens stated in his lecture The Hyperlinked Library: Exploring the Model that empathy is just one of the senses that will increasingly “guide our lives and shape our world” because the library is participatory. It allows us to have a social connection that helps people make sense of the world by also promoting lifelong learning. Policies are of course important to establish and follow, but you can still always find ways to help and serve the patron the best you can. This is just one reason why being able to communicate kindness is so important. We certainly need to build cultures in which participation and inclusiveness are emphasized.

The book concludes with an interesting quote by Albert Schweitzer referring to preparing the next generation of leaders in which he said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” By developing the skills of kindness in ourselves we will not only have the power to become effective leaders ourselves, but we will also pass on the necessary traits of compassion, integrity, gratitude, authenticity, humility, and humor to a new generation of effective and kind leaders.

References

Baker, W. F., & O’Malley, M. (2008). Leading with kindness: how good people consistently get superior results. New York: American Management Association.

Denning, S. (2015, May 01). Do We Need Libraries? Retrieved February 6, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/04/28/do-we-need-libraries/

Segal, S. (2017, February 12). Harvard Psychologists Reveal: Parents Who Raise ‘Good’ Kids Do These 5 Things. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://curiousmindmagazine.com/parents-who-raise-good-kids/

Insights gleaned from our Foundational Readings

The foundational readings showed us practical, progressive, and forward-looking ways and efforts to improve libraries and library services. Focusing on new insights and ideas on how change can occur in librarianship, I thought that Michael Buckland’s “Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto” illustrates this perfectly. First of all, I was incredibly surprised by its published date of 1992, for it’s such an insightful document of its time. In his Foreword, Michael Gorman states that “Libraries exist to serve and to be used”, pointing out that there are too many in the librarianship profession who have lost the sight of this simple purpose of libraries; to serve as many people as they can. He then highlights that to redesign library services we must therefore adjust with the changing times to remain relevant to the user. The author continues that libraries, their collections, and technological improvements and advances should in fact be viewed as the mere starting point. The continuous library mission to provide communities access to knowledge and information, while also supporting the interests of the community, and always with the goal of “raising and maintaining the quality of intellectual and social life” should be of utmost importance.

Describing how library service could be re-designed with changes that can improve the handling of paper materials, computer-based processing, and electronic document storage and access, the “Manifesto” details the great opportunity that library services have to move into the future, changing and adjusting with the world, and stressing that we should always be thinking of the mission of the library, the role of the library, and the means of providing such services. I also liked the author’s statement that creative planning should be of importance, because it offers us the “chance to create the future” instead of merely reacting to events, which as stated in the document, just isn’t good enough if our goal is to affect lasting and appropriate change.

In Steve Denning’s article, “Do We Need Libraries” the author highlights that “the computer age is about the change in management mindset enabled by computerization”, and that the balance of power has shifted from the seller to the buyer, with the customer being in charge. The customers have “choices and good information about those choices”, and unless the customers and users are happy, they can and will take their business elsewhere. The author states that emerging from this, we now have a new Creative Economy with different management principles where the customer becomes the center of the organization’s universe. No longer are the main values of businesses “efficiency, predictability and telling people what to do”, but instead with a Creative Economy the values change to “enablement, self-organization and continuous improvement to add value to the user”. This different management ideology is certainly forward-looking since it asks “how can we delight our users?” The author states that to answer this question will in fact “require all the capabilities and ingenuity of talented library staff”, with libraries needing to imagine the services and values that users want now and into the future. A future of libraries for which librarians must be the artists and creators of.

 

References

Denning, S. (2015, May 01). Do We Need Libraries? Retrieved February 5, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/04/28/do-we-need-libraries/

Buckland, M. (1993). Redesigning library services: a manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association.

Hello Hyperlinked Library class!

Hello to everyone in the 2017 Spring 287-Hyperlinked Library class!

I began my path to becoming a librarian in the Spring of 2015 and am now beginning my final year of instruction in the MLIS program at SJSU — my goal is to graduate December 2017. In my first semester and during my 200-Library Communities course with Professor Tash I heard about the Hyperlinked Library course and had hoped I would be able to add it to my curriculum to get a better understanding of the constantly changing and developing technological applications, trends, and emerging services that are available.

Having worked in libraries for about 12 years I feel that I’ve only just begun to learn about the librarianship profession. With experience in both academic and public libraries, I’ve had the opportunity to grow professionally, have had a variety of responsibilities, and have gained welcoming experience. For the last 7 years I’ve worked as an Adult Services Specialist at the Henderson District Public Libraries, Green Valley Library branch, which is located in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.

I’m a native of Southern California but have spent half of my life in Vegas, and the other half in the City of Avalon, California, which is located just off the Southern California coast on Catalina Island. As a child, my parents moved the family to Vegas during the 1970’s, and then off to Catalina Island in the 1980’s. I ended up graduating from Avalon high school and subsequently lived on the island for several more years, working in the tourist atmosphere and learning how to provide excellent customer service. One of my favorite positions was being the store manager at the Catalina Island Museum. It’s a wonderful establishment to support if you ever get the chance to visit the island. I then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, completing a BA in anthropology with a second major in fine art. I have always enjoyed being creative through photography, painting, and drawing.

So, what do I love about working in a library? Well, I love being part of a community.

I have this Garfield comic taped to my work computer that I clipped from the newspaper years ago which says, “Yeees. It’s nice to know you’re making a difference!”. It reminds me daily that first, I love Garfield (cutest, snarky cat EVER!) and second, that what I do at the library does make a difference. It does matter. And not only to those whom I come in contact with at the library every day, but for myself too. By assisting patrons to find answers to their queries whether it’s to print a document from an email, find sources for a book report, a title by their favorite author, or to assist someone applying for a job that could possibly impact their life for the better…well, no matter how small or large the task, everything has a reason and everything matters to someone, and that’s why I love what I do at the library.

It’s astounding to me to be able to take part in helping a community to learn, develop and grow. To be part of offering everyone access to the world. It’s a pretty amazing privilege.

Thanks everyone for reading my blog! Good luck to all this semester.