Library of the Future in Plain English

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>>The Library of the Future will be very
different to the way we do business now. And that means there will be big changes for the
people who work in libraries. What we do, how we do it, the hours we work, and even
what we call ourselves will all change. Under 5 broad headings of organizational culture,
work conditions, service models, sustainability and people, we’re going to look at what life
will be like for the librarian of 2015. [ Music ] I am not Lee Le Fever and this is Staffing
the Library of the Future in Plain English. Organizational culture and that’s enough of
that voice. Libraries can be fun places to work, but they are also part of large organizations
and therefore can be bureaucratic, with a very hierarchical organization structure.
Often, the task we have to perform will be carried out in different departments. This
can lead to silos where there is little communication between staff in different areas. Decision
making is top down. That’s old way, boo! In 2015, the new library will be a place of collaboration
and communication. We’ll use technology, as well as low tech ways to connect, share ideas
and make decisions together. Rather than structured and controlled, the new library is fluid and
flexible, constantly growing and changing, and it is one of trust. But to get there,
we’ll need to rethink our work conditions. Work conditions. Library staff work regular
hours. We’re not quite 9 to 5 because libraries are often open long hours. But we will all
come to work and spend most of our day at our desk in a back room probably with some
rusted time at a service desk in the public spaces. This old way of doing things isn’t
going to fit with the new library. [Noise] The new library will be available 24/7 and
online will be just as important as the physical building. We’ll have to have staff working
flexible hours who may not be in the library building at all. They might work from home
and use mobile technology to provide information services from almost any location, [background
sound] from a cafe, to a classroom. Librarians will be both online and in the physical library
and that means a whole new service model. Service models. Librarians love to help people
and connect them to information and ideas. But sometimes, it could be hard for people
to approach us when we’re behind desks or hidden away in offices. We can see more authoritative
and anonymous to our clients or like we are there to enforce rules rather than help. We
all know and hate the stereotype of the [inaudible]-wearing librarian who goes around shushing people,
boo! [Background music] A new service model will let us show that librarians are creative
experimental and open. We could become part of research teams embedded in faculties, coaching
facilitating and offering new services in ways which are proactive providing advice
in the information before our clients even know they need it. We can borrow ideas from
other sectors like retail. Think of the Apple store where there are always geniuses to help
you and the service feels personal. We can go in further by letting our personality show,
especially online where we can use services like Facebook to create profiles and connect
with the people who would most benefit from our expertise in ways which are collaborative.
Sustainability. The way we work now is very resource intensity, lots of paper consumption,
lots of printing, energy-intensive buildings, wasteful procurement processes, but that’s
the old way, boo!>>Boo!>>The new library buildings can be built
to the highest grain specifications with features like rainwater collection, alternative energy
use, waste water recycling and green furnishings. But sustainability isn’t just about the building.
It’s about new attitudes and new ways of working. Libraries can encourage their staff to take
public transport or walk or bicycle to work by providing storage areas for bikes, shower
rooms and staff reward programs. It’s also models behavior [background sound] for our
clients so there’s a ripple effect outwards. The people who work in libraries are generally
classified by their position, the props of material they work with or by their role in
the hierarchy as managers or workers. These kinds of roles are not going to suit the new
way of doing things. We need to have much more fluid and adaptable roles. Would you
rather be a cataloger, an IT technician or a media curator, a learning and gaming consultant.
In the Library of the Future, we’ll need people who are creative, open to challenges and tolerant
of mistakes. People who are team based and client focused, rather than hierarchical and
rules focused. The new librarian is open to new possibilities and is constantly evolving.
This has been [background music] Staffing the Library of the Future in Plain English. [ Music ] [Silence]

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