I recently read this article http://bit.ly/WaFjxh , and it got me to thinking – is your library a trendsetter or a trend follower?
As it is in libraryland, things tend to change in the blink of an eye – new devices are constantly being rolled out, software is being updated, eBooks and publishing houses are changing terms hither and thither, and then there are our patrons wanting to learn the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING.
And what are libraries to do but …
Keep up …
And how DO you do it? How do you make sure that your staff is aware of ALL the new things going on relevant to libraries?
Do you have an Emerging Technologies committee who work together to keep an eye out for the trends?
Do you have a sole digital initiatives librarian who works to implement things BEFORE they are hot – in essence, a trend SETTER?
Or do you just follow along as best you as you can and jump on the bandwagon when you start seeing things like maker spaces, technology fairs, new iPad Mini and Kindle HD+ pop up online and in libraries?
I think that the core of all of these trends should be YOUR patrons … every library has their own community of patrons – weather you’re in an urban library where your branches are mere blocks apart, or a more rural library where each town is its own system.
I think that libraries need to really analyze THEIR patrons – throw some surveys up their websites, run some stats in your ILS – let the PATRONS tell you what THEY want. Don’t necessarily fall in line with the trends just because they’re hot - because as soon as they’re hot … they’re …. Not.
How do you handle the hustle and bustle of the new and emerging technologies in the library field?