Vanishing Librarians – clarity

After rereading my post yesterday about the John Berry article Vanishing Librarians – I feel like I was unclear on my central point. I used too much information to make my point. Let me be clear.

As a customer and taxpayer – I expect public libraries to be efficient and well managed. I expect them to use new operating tools to improve their overall quality of service. I expect that the time savings created by new ways of doing things will allow librarians and library staff to be more engaged with their “customers”, not less. If librarians aren’t out on the floor working with customers it is not because they are being “deskilled”. It is because they are simply providing poor customer service.

A recent editorial to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette concerning our libraries as precious jewels helps to make the point: “According to a 2006 study, Pennsylvania taxpayers receive a return of $5.50 for every dollar invested in their libraries”. Libraries are good stewards of the public funds and trust. Locally, libraries are using new service tools like: self checkout, online reference, etc… to create more time to provide additional programing and services. They are reaching beyond their four walls to engage and serve their customers….even in cyberspace.

I also believe libraries need to be good “operators”, in order to be well funded. A library can’t be “great” without good funding.

So here’s to all those libraries implementing all the “new and improved” ways of doing things. My congratulations and thanks to you!

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