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Reflection Blog – Foundational Readings

I started out reading Buckland’s (1992) Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto, and there were the words “developing a strategic plan for a library’s development.” Just last week at my library, the board chairman, library director, and four managers met for the board chairman to inform us that we will be doing a strategic plan. A long story short, the director already told the managers she was unsure of why we had to attend this meeting because we would not be doing the strategic plan she would be. This comment put us in an uncomfortable situation, and it was hard to feel that we have a voice. Even when I read Mathews (2012) Think like a startup, it confirmed my ideas of thinking outside the box “we have to extend our imaginations”… “what we really need right now are breakthrough, paradigm-shifting, transformative, and disruptive ideas” (p. 1). Mathews goes on to say that “it’s the responsibility of the administration to foster and inspire” (p. 10). In my library, that is not happening; therefore, it’s hard to get managers or other staff involved when they know the administration is not on board with them having any input.

One of many things I found  in the Mathews reading is “don’t just expand services, solve problems.” Another issue I am having; I live in a rural area, we don’t have a Staples store or any other office supply business. At the library, we currently do not offer scanning or wireless printing. I feel these are services the library should provide, as I am sure most other libraries offer these services, this would solve one of the communities’ problems.

I also agree with what Casey & Savastinuk (2007) said about communication “a certain level of communication is vital to workplace morale and overall operations. A team of staff members that fails to communicate with each other cannot succeed” (p. 4). Communication is another issue we have in my library.  The director doesn’t communicate, managers are overworked, so they are not communicating, and other staff won’t ask the questions they need to because they don’t want to bother anyone.

These readings just confirmed what I already thought about my library; we have a lot of work to do.

References

Buckland, M. K. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. American Library Association. 

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Information Today.

Mathews, B. (2012). Think like a startup.


2 Comments

  1. Your story about strategic planning resonates with me. I experienced a similar dysfunctional interaction over the strategic plan for the library I work at. Earlier this year, I was part of a small planning committee to update our mission, vision, and values statement. This was to lay the groundwork for strategic planning we will do later this year. Unfortunately, our team spent 6 weeks deliberating over the definition of the terms “mission”, “vision”, and “values”, and accomplished nothing. The main problem was every time we felt like we had a consensus, the library director disagreed and wanted to use their own version and definitions.

    What I found most frustrating about this teamwork, is this director is very vocal about how open to change and inclusive they are. Which should be motivational and inspiring. However, even though we are invited to contribute to meaningful conversations and implement changes needed in the library, this always turns into an opportunity for the director to shoot ideas down.

    I like your idea of providing printing and scanning services. I think that is a great example of problem-solving.

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