In May, 2009, Stephen Abram published a Post on his Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog titled The Library Rebooted. He promoted this wonderfully eye-opening article by Scott Corwin, Elisabeth Hartley & Harry Hawkes for many very good reasons.
Now seems like an excellent time to highlight and re-emphasize that article – “The Library Rebooted” published at Booz & Company website strategy+business. (You’ll need to create a free account, but it’s more than worth it. If it doesn’t take you to the article, just Search: rebooted.)
As Abram wrote; “I heartily recommend it.” I wholeheartedly agree, because it discusses in very real terms and examples how “Even in an era when you can “Google” just about anything, many libraries have remained as vibrant, dynamic, and popular as ever. They’re staying that way by redefining the business they’re in.” [Emphasis added.]
Even despite the authors’ observation that
“The Internet has supplanted that core function of the library’s purpose by giving users access to much of the world’s information in roughly the time it takes them to start their computers and make a cup of coffee. In the era of the instantaneous Google search, information research and retrieval are irrevocably changed. And Google itself has, to all appearances, stepped into the library business directly with a massive project in which it intends to digitize all of the world’s books.”
they go on to point out that
“There are the public, or community, libraries, usually funded by local city and state taxes and charged with a civic mission. They provide a place for young children to learn, for students to socialize and study, for job applicants to gather information, for immigrants to learn their adopted country’s language, for seniors to read the newspaper, and for any cardholder to borrow books, music, or videos. The good ones are run by entrepreneurial librarians who understand the needs of the community and actively seek to meet them.” [Emphasis added.]
While the examples of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among librarians are encouraging and inspiring, the real treasure of the article is the authors’
7 Imperatives for Library Leadership
1. Rethink the operating model
2. Understand and respond to user needs
3. Embrace the concept of continuous innovation
4. Forge a digital identity
5. Connect with stakeholders in ways that pure internet companies cannot
6. Expand the metrics
7. Be courageous
But you’ll have to read the article to know exactly what they are telling us about How to remain a relevant 21st Century Library!
As Abram wrote; “It’s a must read ….”
I wholeheartedly agree!