One of the readings from the first few weeks of class that really resonates with me is the article, “Think Like a Start Up,” by Brian Mathews. Libraries must be concerned with the questions of “how to improve [their] library’s service and better reach [their] customers,” (Casey & Savastinuk, p. 11) if they are going to be relevant to their communities (and what is the point of their existence if they are not relevant to their communities?). One of the ways that they can work to stay relevant is to routinely try out new ideas. Mathews stresses that there is value in trying out lots of new ideas, even if they are not fully fleshed out (2012). He also suggests that soliciting input from the people using the services is key (2012).
These ideas have been on my mind at work (at a small neighborhood public library branch) this week as I’ve been part of discussions relating to how to improve our services for teens. Teens rarely hang out in our teen area and so a newly hired teen librarian and I were discussing how we might make the space more welcoming for them and what little things we might be able to start doing right away to achieve this goal. I am feeling hopeful and excited that some of the ideas we generated might be successful, and if they are not, I feel like it is okay. We will come up with new ones!
Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service Medford, N.J: Information Today.
Mathews, Brian (2012). Think Like A Start Up.
- An Introduction
- Context Book: Palaces for the People