Sunday, July 20, 2008

Library management and the economy, silly

I am not a very prolific blogger. I really regret that I do not have a lot of time to come here and write.

I especially wish I had more to say that was "professional" and devoted to librarianship.

I've got very little except to let you all in on my view of public library management: it's hard.
It's a balancing act. You're public, but to keep your sanity there have got to be boundaries and when patrons cross those, we staff get all nervous and tense.

So on one hand, we want to be more accessible. Kiosks, not desks. Roaming librarians with PDAs looking up info for you.
I'm not sure I like that. With the public using the free resources of the library more than ever--because what's inexpensive and free out there is shrinking--we've got more people in the building than ever.

They are signing up for cards and hopping on to our computers. They are tracking stocks with our online tools. They are checking out dvds in droves, I think just because they're free. Why go rent when the library is free?

So I think with more people coming in to use the library, we need our boundaries more than ever. I do want to make things easier and more welcoming for our patrons, but I really want my boundaries.

1 comment:

DaddyMan said...

I agree. Sure you can checkout using the PDA gizmos, but why should they patron have to hunt us down to check out or perform a reference interaction. You've got to have both... i.e. Let's start the search here, I'll walk you to the place with the goods, and if we need to do more further research, pardon me while I whip this out and it'll help us search while we're away from the desk. Once we're done, you can find me back at the desk and I'd be happy to help you some more.