Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Embracing the hard work ahead

Change is not easy for most of us. The majority of public librarians I know prefer 'organization with flexibility,' so when a new direction is thrown our way it is both exciting and scary.

Fundamental elements of libraries - the foundations of classifications, cataloging, circulation policies - seem to be the fall-back for new adaptations. For example, librarians must weed out old, extraneous, and out-dated materials from their shelves (called "weeding") and have developed standards for their systems. This makes way for new books and materials and keeps their collections current and relevant. When the fairly recent introduction of electronic books came into libraries' collections, the development of weeding policies came out of the existing one. User services have adapted in many ways; from programs (such as taking digital photos and putting them on library websites) to library computer use and wifi access.

Change is essential for growth. The climate of our nation has also moved in this direction; last night's incredibly positive election results are indicative of the majority's voice. We have made a choice for change on many levels, and it has renewed hope in this librarian's heart.

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