12 May 2009

The Library Rebooted--Lessons for Library Leaders

Scott Corwin, Elisabeth Hartley, and Harry Hawkes of Booz & Company in New York have written very thoughtful article on the new library in the Google age. It appears in strategy+business, a publication of Booz. You have to register to read it, but it is free.

The best part are the seven imperatives for library leadership:

1. “Rethink the operating model. Many of the old assumptions about running a library—that the measure of a library’s quality is the size of its book collection, that there’s value in keeping even infrequently loaned books on the shelves, that library staffing questions shouldn’t be questioned—are outmoded and need to be set aside.”

2. “Understand and respond to user needs. Libraries have only the most general information about their users—how many of them there are, what they do when they are at the library, and what they borrow.” “Libraries should develop advanced capabilities to build aggregated profiles of users….”

3. “Embrace the concept of continuous innovation. …approach the innovation challenge with an entrepreneurial mind-set: test measure, refine.”

4. “Forge a digital identity. …some experimentation is in order.”

5. Connect with stakeholders in ways pure Internet companies cannot. …take advantage of [the libraries’] local strength and on the research library side share their service-oriented expertise in new ways and through new channels.”

6. “Expand the metrics. As they refine their mission, libraries will also have to change how they measure success. …online-specific metrics will have to be added.”

7. “Be courageous. The library’s underlying promise hasn’t changed…but the environment in which libraries operate has certainly shifted, and the challenge for those running them is to figure out the evolutionary path they should follow. There is no one answer…nothing at all is written in stone.”

URL: http://www.strategy-business.com/media/file/sb54_09108.pdf

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, especially the sidebar from the donor to the NY Public Library.