IFLA 2008: Management and Marketing, Statistics and Evaluations, and Library Theory and Research

Management and Marketing, Statistics and Evaluations, and Library Theory and Research
Managing libraries in a changing environment – legal, technical and organizational aspects

Ricardo Gomez/Chris Coward, University of Washington
Information technologies and how they are used are not limited to libraries. We need to think outside of these boundaries as well.

We need to think in terms of:
Equitable access – location, technology, affordability
Capacity and relevance
Enabling environment
What is going on with public access around the world? Why do people choose one venue over another?

Perception matters more than facilities, settings, technology or the user experience.

Government perception – is it popular to fund libraries?

Why are we deciding what is good or bad technology? People don’t just want to “seek” anymore, they want to communicate and be social.

They world is larger than the library. There are new challenges, competencies and opportunities. If we stay as we are, we will become irrelevant.

We need to consider the following:
“Cool” factor
Legitimate uses
Collaborative opportunities
Changing media landscape

Gildas Illian, National Library of France
Web archiving – requires knowledge of what to keep, values, expense. Need cataloguers with technical skills for this.

Digital is just another media type. We should approach and handle it as we have always done when faced with new media.

“Innovation needs tradition”

David McMenemy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Qualitative vs. Quantitive
There is a limitation in numbers and a challenge in measuring library services.

Danger in managerialism and public library services being measured by statistics and auditing. What results are departments competing against eachother.

Statistics measuring the number of issues, circulation and borrowers give only a limited picture of how the library is really doing.

Qualitative approach should complement the quantitative. Each borrower is an individual.

Statistics create a discourse of success/failure. Read “The Tyranny of Numbers (Boyle 2001)

If you count the wrong things, you go backwards. The more sophisticated you are, the harder your services are to measure.

We’re missing the depth of use if we only count numbers.

How to use qualitative measurement?
Set of guidelines
Range of themes/examples
Social value categories to classify outcome of services used.

Why do libraries continue to use quantitative? It’s cheap. Qualitative provides a more accurate picture, but it is more expensive.

Vesna Vuksan, Belgrade City Library
A parent library has responsibilities. Their collection must be maintained and sustain a high level of accuracy in the library catalogue

If you’re a leader, other libraries within your province/state/region/country and even internationally will be looking to your library for catalogue records and sharing your catalogue.


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