Entry: Redesigning Library Services & Think Like a Start Up

by Lauren Abel

Diving into Buckland’s “Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto” I was struck by the sheer expanse of the library and information science world. It extends far beyond my career in a small public library. Far beyond creating library accounts or replacing lost library cards or painstakingly planning summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults. Buckland took all my dearly held preconceived notions about libraries and very neatly, intelligently dispelled each one to reveal the true nature of the library. Or, what a library is meant to serve as.

Although published in 1992, Buckland’s Manifesto was clearly ahead of its’ time. Starting with the simple concept of examining how collections and catalogs are actually used, Buckland’s work encourages library professionals to consider their field from a whole new perspective. Instead of just considering how patrons access information, librarians must consider how this information is used. Is it easily found, but not properly understood? Does it meet the information seeking need of the individual? Just because a library installs a touch screen, user friendly catalog does not mean that patrons will know how to adequately use the device to find what they need. Essentially, for me, Buckland’s work boils down to the quality of user experience. As library professionals consider their trajectory into the twenty first century, what does that mean for the twenty first century information seeker?

This is where Brian Matthews’ “Think Like a Star Up” comes in to play. In order to apply Buckland’s aspirations to the current library field, it is up to the twenty first century library professional to disrupt the status quo and develop innovative ways to provide information services. Combining Buckland’s work with that of Matthew’s can inspire the innovative thinking needed to inspire today’s creations that will, in the future, prove to be essential.

References

Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. Retrieved from http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/sunsite/Redesigning%20Library%20Services_%20A%20Manifesto%20(HTML).pdf

Matthews, Brian (2012). Think Like A Start Up.