Well, my portfolio is pretty much done. It’ll be sent off soon.
This blog was started as part of the chartership process. Now it is nearly at an end, I think it’s time to put an end to the blog. I have said all I want to say on the issues I have covered.
As a summary:-
- Above all libraries are places for a purpose, and care should be taken not to shoehorn in anything and everything.
- Public libraries represent a commitment to openness, to reading, to learning and increasingly to access to materials online. They are a place to make connections, with what you read and the place in which you read and the people you share the space with
- Whilst public libraries are about books and reading, that is not the end. It should be the beginning and a guide, but not the only thing. Access to expertise, to community information, to groups- all should be part of a public library’s services. Otherwise public libraries fail to deliver their full potential.
- Public libraries are a vital part of communities, and as such should not be subject to cuts or closures unless absolutely necessary, and the case needs to be made publicly and subject to debate
- Efficiencies are important and to be sought where possible. However, they should not impact on the overall service
- Enterprise is to be encouraged, as are strategic partnerships. The involvement of private money is not in itself a problem, but where possible it should come from local groups and firms, to strengthen ties to the community
- Qualified librarians are still important. Specialist librarians, covering particular areas in public libraries add to the delivery of services and so should be kept. Workflows can be altered to enable them to deliver more frontline work as well as specialised services
- The routes to qualification should be expanded and courses made more relevant to sector needs where possible
- Right now, good bookstocks and welcoming spaces are the key to building use. Where possible, the use of emerging technologies should be used to complement these services- see the Dublin City Public Library pageflakes as an example. A well run service can deliver exciting bookstocks, inspiring events and value adding web services
- Times change. People change. So services also need to change- but incrementally, based on need. It’s getting easier to ‘just do it,’ but we should always have a good reason why.
This is not necessarily an end to me blogging, but should I return to it I’ll have a different focus. It is certainly not an end to me reading and commenting on other blogs.
“Library Too” has served its purpose. Thanks to all for reading and commenting.
Note: inspired by this post at Slow Reading.