Sunday, 21 October 2007

Working better together and apart...

"Online learning and its impact on public libraries" from "Information Wants To Be Free": I'm glad Meredith talked about this... Since I started working in a large public library and have now moved on to academic libraries, I've always looked into and asked about the relationship between the two organizations and all too often there isn't any. And usually not even the thought of one, from either side. The staff know of each other, are friends, are even sometimes married to each other, LOL, but there doesn't seem to be any thought of how they can partner up to make each other's load a little lighter, how each's services can complement the other, or even how they can help their users transition between the two institutions.

You'd think that online learning would be the easiest way for two groups like this to get together: what with levels of teaching expertise, customer service experience, funding abilities, and time to devote to projects, online learning would seem to be a good fit for a way for at least one group to improve the relationship.

But of course, this is a larger problem. This relationship building is just one of the many things that are missed because most librarians (and pretty much all other professions) fail to think systematically about the services and resources they provide. It's more reactionary or responsive, than proactive and comprehensive. We need to take an even scan through our user-base and make sure that all areas are being covered appropriately. On our web pages, we need to make sure that every self-identifying group will recognize what resources are for them.

We're all strapped for time, money, and energy, but I think that a little more organized planning of efforts would bring us a little closer to saving everyone's day! LOL

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