How are you going to plan the spaces in your new library when the very concept of a 'library as a physical place' is being redefined by how your community uses technology?
Librarians are talking. In journals, newsletters, on LinkedIn, at conferences about how they can manage the demand placed on them, their staff and library buildings by patrons who expect their library to provide them the capability to use technologies to help them with research and homework, job searches and internet connectivity.
Librarians are engaged in conversations about the future of libraries and the future of librarianship and recruitment of new people into the profession; people who are equiped to deal with ever changing technological advances.
"There’s a cadre of LIS students coming up who would jump at the chance for jobs in digital media labs or the Information Commons. Before that can happen, however, library leadership must move beyond the lending/reference model to a broader view of what’s possible in a community-based space focused on helping people." (LJ, Apr 2011)
In a recent Library Journal article, Stuck in the Past | Office Hours, By Michael Stephens, Apr 15, 2011, about the reasons people want to become librarians, Mr. Stephens asks some hard questions about the roles and 'evolution of ...(the) services' provided by librarians of the future.
In our facilitations and webinars, we have been emphasising the importance of marketing libary services in communities and providing felexible spaces in library buildiing plans. These concepts are also brought out strongly in Mr. Stephens' article.
"We need a course in library school devoted to teaching people to build spaces both physical and virtual (my emphasis) for constituents to come together. We need to prioritize marketing and branding these spaces and services consistently. Doing so will help us in creating, maintaining, and evaluating the Information Commons."
How do you see your library building and your staff meeting these needs, not in five years, not in two but next year at this time?