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L2 - Challenges

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 2 months ago

 

L2 - Introduction

L2 - Challenges

L2 - Essential Conditions

 

 

 

 

 

Libraries were once the guardians of knowledge, and the point at which those seeking existing knowledge would engage with it. With the rise of Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and more, there is an oft-stated fear that many users, much of the time, will bypass processes and institutions that they perceive to be slow, unresponsive, unappealing and irrelevant in favor of a more direct approach to services offered by others that just might be 'good enough' for what they need to do.

 

Libraries face technological challenges similar to other types of non-profit organizations.

 

Technical Barriers:

Library systems, DRM, operating systems, browsers, external devices and hardware conflicts are causing barriers between information and library users. This is conflicting with the user-centric nature of Library 2.0. Technology should instead enable the ease flow of information and free the library staff from assisting users in basic technological problems, and give them more time in providing pure library services to patrons. 

 

Leadership challenges:

Library leaders like other non-profit managers face the challenge of devoting time to fundraising as well as program management. Fundraising is a time consuming activity that often prevents leaders from employing this energy in other social and management issues. Both fundraising and library management are critical for the growth of the library, and devoting time to one aspect more than the other could result in a major imbalance.

 

Diversity of staff

Usually, library personnel come from different backgrounds and with diverse skills. This is sometimes a positive side because different staff could bring different perspectives and considerations for ideas. However, the challenge is to motivate these staff to appreciate, cultivate and engage in new values and perspectives. To be able to motivate volunteers to adopt technological changes, the vision and mission of the library must be clearly communicated to staff and leadership is key in challenging and motivating personnel.

 

Funding

Libraries mainly rely on funding sources to be able to evolve and continue their social and educative mission. Funding comes from different sources basically: grants, individual donations. Fundraising is very much affected by a strong and willing leadership that focuses on the preparation of good programs and strategic plans that attract funders.

 

Traditional Library Problems

 

As posted by Stephens (2006), some of the barriers in old age libraries are:

 

 

  • Technology is immature
  • Too many policies
  • Irrelevant organizational chart
  • The Catalog isn't like Amazon or Google (which users USE!)
  • Librarians do not market themselves or their services well
  • Many libraries don't have enough computers to meet user demand
  • Library staff need more training (and need to learn how to learn)
  • Libraries need more innovative programming (Stephens, M., 2006, p.1).

 

 

Practical considerations

 

In order to adopt Library 2.0, the following practical considerations have to be taken into consideration:

 

  • Find out what the population needs and wants from the library
  • Ask people who don't use the library what they would like to see
  • Examine current services and policies, do they meet the needs of population
  • Do a usability study on online and physical space
  • No one-size-fits-all approach, the population is unique
  • Web 2.0 tools

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