What’s Experimental About Libraries?

This is a good question.  When people think of libraries they think of the physical presence a library has within their community.  People think of libraries as that place where books ‘live’ and are maintained by a librarian.  These places have been parodied in movies and books as old, dusty, dingy, and sometimes dark places.  Some libraries can be described in these ways, but it seems as though some artistic license and some embellishment on the parts of some story tellers has really played a large part in the creation of the general perception of libraries.  Libraries are not thought of in the dynamic light they should be, libraries are viewed as static, old, boring, and irrelevant.

This is where the dichotomy between public perception and reality exists.  Interestingly, libraries are some of the most dynamic places in our communities.  Libraries are portals to vast amounts of information that is almost immeasurable.  The massive amounts of information available on the Internet boggles the minds of most and even baffles some.  Libraries as portals to large amounts of information have enormous implications for the communities they serve as well as the staff who manage and curate all the information available.

In order to stay relevant to their communities, libraries need to constantly be trying out and experimenting with all the different ways they can deliver their important services to their communities.  All of this experimentation allows libraries to really find those technologies that work best for their constituency.  This is why libraries are in a constant state of experimentation and why I started this blog.  I want to explore the different ways libraries experiment with new policies and technology in order to stay relevant in their communities.

Please join me in looking at how libraries experiment everyday with new technologies and services to continue to be dynamic and vibrant spaces for information discovery and consumption.

What do you think?  Do you feel libraries experiment a great deal or not?

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2 thoughts on “What’s Experimental About Libraries?

  1. Hi! I’m one of your classmates from last semester’s LIBR246 class and I decided to check out you new blog. Very cool! On the subject, I do feel as if libraries should experiment, especially in information technologies, which we are supposed to be experts in. Sadly, it is often not the case, especially in public libraries; I know in my library, we just barely started a new blog and the administration are very hesitant to consider other web 2.0 technologies to expand their services. We don’t have a facebook page, a twitter account, or even our own website! The site is under the county site, and is almost impossible to navigate. Blech!
    Anyways, I also wanted to let you know I also had a great time blogging in LIBR246 and decided to begin a “real” blog of my own. I also moved away from blogger and decided to join up with wordpress 🙂 Check out my blog and let me know what you think!

    • Hi toverduin. I agree with you that your library’s site is a little tough to navigate. Having a ‘hesitant’ administration can be very frustrating in any instance where you are attempting to benefit the libraries, but especially where engagement with your patrons is limited by the lack of vision and understanding by that same administration. The administration at my library are apathetic to using blogs and Facebook to create more engagement with our patrons. Libraries and their employees face a daunting future and wimpy administrators don’t make it any easier. I’m glad you too enjoyed blogging and decided to continue with it. I like how you set it up and the template you used. I look forward to reading your posts. 🙂

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