There are still reminders of the season that was and some days the air has a chill, but winter has past and spring has arrived. The seasons change, and we all welcome it. Yet in our own lives we resist it. We are accustomed to what we do, feel that it’s working well enough, and certainly don’t have the time to learn new ways of doing things. Nature knows better. Change is refreshing. It allows us to see our world in a different way.
When the recession hit in 2008, many businesses panicked. They tried to minimize all expenses and for the most part circled the wagons hoping to ride out the crisis. Most of those who took that approach failed. The more successful looked around and identified what made them or their product unique. They looked to see who besides their current customers could benefit from it and what changes in marketing would be needed to attract these potential customers.
If your library looks the way it did in the 1990’s with the addition of more computers and a Smartboard, you have not changed. Having a website and adding e-books doesn’t make you a 21st century librarian. And certainly it isn’t having a quiet library with kids polishing their Dewey Decimal skills.
Have you taken stock of what makes you unique? At the end of February, I blogged on how librarians transform student learning. That’s about change. Do you do those things? Have you let your administrators know? How? Emailing memos and reports is not 21st century. Videoing students exhibiting these transformative behaviors and sending those out is 21st century.
Is your library a place where students find things or is it one in which they create things? Do you provide opportunities for them to go beyond your walls? Across the globe? Who are you following on Twitter? What’s the best idea you got from these outstanding school librarians—and have you adapted it for your library program?
What do you know about Learning Commons? Find out how other librarians have transformed their facility, often on a shoestring budget. Share with your administrator the excitement of the possibilities a Learning Commons creates.
Life is about change. You are either changing or you are dying. We have lost too many libraries and librarians. If you haven’t done so, decide it’s time for a change, and if you need help… I, and many other librarians, are here for you. Reach out!