Thursday, January 2, 2014

Go Outside and Play

Today I spent one hour, (that’s 60 precious minutes of my life) looking for an interesting tidbit to post about for my library blog, The Joyful Librarian. This activity did not make me feel any more joyful, but it did make me think about library services and how libraries still scramble to feel relevant in the face of ever changing technology.

Libraries still feel inadequate when competing for importance in the greater wide world. Library visitors still don’t realize that libraries provide more than books to their customers, and that bugs libraries an awful lot. It seems like that is the primary focus for public libraries right now: telling people how much technology they provide. In focusing on this one key service point, libraries begin to sound a little pathetic. It is not a bold thing to say, “We’ve got electronic books too! And we’re on twitter and facebook and tumbler and…” It sounds a bit sad, really and that’s not a strong marketing position.

For 2014, I’d like to see a library marketing department stand up boldly and say, “Yeah, we’re a library! What about it?” Of course they’d translate it into more appropriate terms, but the focus should be on how great it is to be a library, not on how the library runs after the latest technology. Save your breath libraries, and give yourself a pat on the back. And while you’re at it, go outside and play in the snow! I will stop now and do the same.

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