Public Libraries: Core Capabilities

Thanks Halinet 2013 for asking me to keynote your incredible day discussing “It’s Okay – It Won’t Explode”! It was an honour. And it is a great topic for all those in public libraries. The Halinet organizers pulled together an incredible program for 170+ people from schools and public libraries.

The “it” that won’t explode is the technology, devices, and applications prevalent in our communities but not so prevalent in libraries or among library staff. Not only will “it” not explode, but the “it” is now your new favourite thing. Know about “it”. Experiment with “it”. Many public libraries have missions or brands about being places of discovery, for exploring, for creativity. And, yet, how many library staff see themselves as explorers? how many of the job descriptions or role descriptions outline that the incumbent’s role is to be an explorer or at the very least a “guide” for those who are exploring?

Those in public libraries must see their roles as that of guides, concierges and scouts. How would that impact what we see as the “core capabilities” for library staff? One of the most important capabilities is to be curious – to want to know about “it”, about the public you are working with, and the best way to help them solve their problems or accomplish their assignments. The “web” and e-resources are essential tools for public libraries. To keep current, follow @Infodocket and every presentation you can from Gary Price</strong>. Find out what Gary knows about how the web is working and how we can make it work better for us – and for our patrons.

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