Perceptions of Libraries
Kudos to MINITEX and Metronet for sponsoring the Cathy DeRosa presentation at the Como Park Arboretum on Tuesday. Cathy expanded on the OCLC study Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources. (click on the title to go to the OCLC site to download and read the report.)
The report tells us that "books is the library brand. There is no runner up." (page 6-3). Libraries and librarians have an identity crisis. We know what we do, and we know who we are. Most library users know who we are, but when they define us they define as being about "books" and only "books", which doesn't capture all that we are about (research, technology . . . ).
This seems to be a really popular theme lately. NPR Talk of the Nation featured a segment called "If a Library is Bookless, What's In It?" (Monday, February 27th). The program raised 2 questions: What is the library's role -- and who should pay for it? Featured guests were Tom Frey, executive director, The DaVinci Institute, Jo Haight-Sarling, director, access and technology services at the Denver Public Library System, and Charles Brown, director, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N.C. (formerly Hennepin County Library Director). The segment is available for listening on the NPR site.