Reinventing Your Library


To Move ahead you may need to give up on…

  • The funders seeing the light
  • hand wringing about the past and negative predictions about the future
  • dream of revenge on customers who didn’t save you
  • acceptance of blame
  • thinking strategically

Why didn’t we plan for this?

Why aren’t we planning for it now? – We did and we are!

Inertia has been our friend. Restructuring is unpopular with staff but rocking the boat sometimes can be helpful.

Also been our enemy but when we really have to look at things we can find something to cut.

Things that might help:

  • Stop doing things not a priority
  • Cut items not used as much
  • Make sure people know what happened to your library delivery in positive manner
  • First person to communicate to is the staff – do nice things to get message across.  Share story in productive ways.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to restructure, reorganize and outsource.
  • Make choices, action increases energy and improves morale
  • enjoy your accomplishments

Celebrate with staff – bring donuts, outings together

How are you going to do it?

  • for many fun is in short supply
  • moving toward greatness was never more necessary
  • Have core values, need to be very short like 4

Customer focused libraries get to first base…

  • Ditch the rules /signs, should have no negative signs or ones with a red circleX through them .
  • observe and respond to cultural shifts
  • choose your fights; some problems don’t need to be solved
  • show respect and affection for customers

I loved this statement – no sign can fix the problem!

Public building, make as nice as possible for everyone. Enforce policies individually instead as a group.

Example:  No splitting allowed in the Library.  Think about this: I’m sure the Flamingo doesn’t allow splitting but they don’t have a sign either!

Tools to help get message across:

  • smile
  • Monroe township library – bottle water bag of chips laptop feet up on a table.  brought resources with her cost you nothing
  • pictures of people in your library
  • Use twitter – Vancouver uses successfully

6 things to do today

  • catch breath
  • consider your options and set direction
  • communicate early and often
  • be nice to yourself and customers
  • hold on to your sense of curiosity streamline workload, organization best service for the money
  • courage is a choice not a trait – sense of humor is great

Looking into future – like to think libraries will be there in the future.

Karen Hyman presenter

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2 thoughts on “Reinventing Your Library

  1. You had a link up about Teens and creating websites with free hosting. Do you happen to know what it was? I can’t find it.
    Thank you

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