Change (chāj) v., 1. To make different in form 2. To transform 3. To remove and replace 4. To become different 5. A transformation or modification 6. Replacement or substitution.
The process of change can be gradual or progressive which causes something to evolve. Change occurs whether one has prepared for it or not. For instance, several factors of change aided to the demise of the drive-in theater. One was the rise of the VCR. This new technology allowed people to watch movies from their homes for the first time in history. Another contributing factor was the shift in economics of the movie industry. New revenue streams appeared such as cable and video, which meant the box office bottom line, became a thermostat for the value of movies. This allowed producers to withhold top rated films from being shown at the drive-in theaters. Consequently, people were given a choice either to go the theater to see box hit movies or wait months to rent the video. It can also be said, technological advancement has forced libraries to upgrade standards/practices or neglect to meet the needs and expectations of library users.
Change is the core concept of Library 2.0. “Library 2.0 is a model of library service that includes constant and purposeful change and user participation in the creation and maintenance of services, while maintaining a primary goal of extending the library’s reach to potential library users” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p12). Rampant technological advancements have made some of the traditional library services ineffective. For generations the card catalog stood proudly in libraries across the land waiting to assist library users. The card catalog was the heartbeat of all bibliographic items within our libraries, however a suitable replacement called Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) put it to rest. Libraries with OPAC access may still have card catalog onsite, but it is used strictly as a secondary resource.
The ongoing evolution of the library is far from being over. For example, the BiblioTech is a public bookless library located in San Antonio, Texas. It roughly cost $2.4 million dollars and it represents the cutting edge of technology for libraries. There are pros and cons to this concept. The bookless library operating costs are lower than the traditional library costs through the elimination of many positions such as librarians, manager, supervisors, and LTA’s. On the other hand, efforts can be utilized for community outreach projects with patrons because there are no books to be processed. There are pro’s and con’s to this new concept. However, the bookless library concept can be considered as a premonition of global change in the near future.
Change is inevitable. The landscape of libraries is constantly changing and evolving. It is imperative to embrace adjustments to new realities as they come forth. Adapting to change allows libraries to provide the best service possible to our patrons.
Biblio Tech – Bexar County’s Digital Library . Retrieved from: https://www.bexarbibliotech.org
Casey, M.E. & Savastinuk, L.C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, Jew Jersey, Information Today.