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LIS-PUB-LIBS  March 2012

LIS-PUB-LIBS March 2012

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Subject:

Re: IT in the library

From:

Mick Fortune <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mick Fortune <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:15:43 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (127 lines)

Hello Frances

I think it's difficult to be optimistic about the future of the public
library service when so many senior members of the profession have taken on
portfolios in local authorities that require them to manage "leisure
services", "transformation" or whatever. They no longer see their primary
role as developing a library service, rather local services in general - and
looking around for a way to deliver these services more cheaply the library
seems rather an obvious location. Sadly for libraries they have also been
investing heavily in the technologies that make them even more attractive to
fill that role. 

With so much under investment in resources over the years - and no national
agency worthy of the name to help them develop it is unsurprising that many
libraries have declined to the extent of your NW example Frances. 

And of course once they're in that condition it's relatively easy to close
them - or reinvent them as "service hubs". 

Here in France the Post Offices are still open in every small town - because
they perform the role for which public libraries are now being targeted.
They still have libraries and médiathèques though - and are amazed at the
British penchant for throwing away something they invented. They ask me what
on earth we think we're doing?

When explaining I find my years of supporting England at football has been a
huge help in that regard.

Mick

-----Original Message-----
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Frances Hendrix
Sent: 20 March 2012 10:48
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Spot on
Rant away

-----Original Message-----
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Ian Clark
Sent: 20 March 2012 10:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Yes, agree.  Again, I think this comes back to failure of management to
address the fundamentals of the library service.  There seems to be a degree
of clarity of the role of the profession lower down the chain, but some
(emphasis on the 'some') at the top seem to be afflicted by muddled thinking
and a will to bend to political demands.  I can feel myself veering off into
a rant... ;)

Ian Clark
Library Systems Officer,
Augustine House,
Canterbury Christ Church University

Email: [log in to unmask]
Tel. 01227 767700 ext 3141


-----Original Message-----
From: Wylie, Alan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 20 March 2012 10:33
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Yes we should be embracing new technologies and using them to push our
profession onwards and upwards, I don't think there's any disagreement on
that! However due to the savage staffing cuts across the service, staff are
being asked to do more and more with less and less and that includes taking
on the role of career adviser, legal adviser, consumer champion, advocate,
IT expert etc. Front line staff often don't get adequate training or support
and are unclear about boundaries and roles!
Practically should they really be expected to sit for half an hour with a
user helping them to buy something from amazon or an air plane ticket when
they are struggling to keep the basic statutory service afloat?
More clarity on roles, responsibilities and expectations is needed urgently?

Alan Wylie
Librarian
Islington

These are my own views and do not represent those of my authority.


-----Original Message-----
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Clark
Sent: 20 March 2012 10:20
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Yes, I don't think Amanda was suggesting that she resented it.  I have
encountered staff that do though (mainly due to lack of confidence in their
own skills to be honest).  Think this boils down to failings that go back
several years.  That these failings are still evident now is rather
depressing.

Ian Clark
Library Systems Officer,
Augustine House,
Canterbury Christ Church University

Email: [log in to unmask]
Tel. 01227 767700 ext 3141


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Jones [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 20 March 2012 10:14
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

With all due respect, if Amanda didn't ask the question then we wouldn't be
discussing it. Plus she never said she resented it herself, she asked
whether other people did. It's a fair question in my opinion.

Phil Jones
 

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