The Ever-Changing Library

Libraries, especially public libraries, must respond to the needs of the community. arrows-3-circular-interlocking

Oh, you’ve heard me say that before? Yes, you have.

It’s not original with me.  The great “father of library science,” S. R. Ranganathan, S._R._Ranganathangave us his brilliant Five Laws, which are still applicable today, with a little revision/modernizing.  The fifth one, though “The library is a growing organism,” needs no revision. A library should be a continually changing, never static, institution. This sounds a lot like my mantra, that a library must respond to the needs of its community.

Recently (November 2015), OCLC published a compilation called The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging With People Where They Live and Learn.  It is an important read, I think. The subtitle “engaging with people where they live and learn” seems like still another way of saying a library must respond to the needs of the community, and the library is a growing organism.  Chapter headings include:

  • Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities
  • What is Enough? Satisficing Information Needs
  • “If it’s too Inconvenient, I’m not Going After it:” Convenience as a Critical Factor
  • “I Always Stick With the First Thing that Comes up on Google:” Where People Go for Information, What they Use, and Why
  • Meeting the Expectations of the Community: The Engagement-Centered Library
This entry was posted in Customer Service, Library in Community, Library Services and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Ever-Changing Library

  1. lochwouters says:

    Wow, just starting the Ranganathan chapter – great stuff! Thanks for the heads up


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