Seth Godin poses this question:
What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?
The future of the library
Read his post in its entirety, and also read reflective responses from Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, Scott Mcleod, and Jenny Luca as you muddle through the implications. Even in our own state we’ve heard cries from active folks in and around our library organization campaigning that we need to save our profession, as each year fewer admin see the benefit of keeping a well stocked library, much less paying a certified teacher librarian.
It’s a call to arms, no?
So what to do?
- Market your library for MORE than just books
- Meet your learners where they are at
- Transition from a traditional library to a learning commons
- Make yourself relevant
- And according to Martha Alewine, one small tip is to FIND a way to measure your success in your school–impact test scores, which will garner positive attention of administrators (sad but likely true)
Seth Godin’s post is a great article as are all the responses I have read. Some of the links offer a roadmap of sorts to consider following. I am working do just these things, though it is a struggle at times.
But am I too negative?
I also worry that I am focusing on the negative or what is wrong with the picture I see in not just my library, but school libraries in general. Just this week I’ve had two planned advocacy projects questioned. Did I get mad? No. Am I giving up? No! I’m considering a new approach with compromise in mind. Working towards relevancy will not be an easy path, and it will call for educating the powers that be on what today’s library should look like, as well as compromise now and then on that journey. Wish me luck! My aim is to be relevant and meet my learners where they are at.