How to re-energize your library #sla2013

How to re-energize your library

Richard Hulser, Natural History Museum of LA

Turn perception of library from passive into an active source of information and education. Still are rows of catalog cases. No online catalog until about three years ago.

49% of collection is in OCLC.

Library was closed from 2008-2011 for earthquake retrofit.

Now, open with display cases, seating areas, etc.

Align library with parent organization’s vision & purpose and strategies & technologies.

Consider: physical resources (including digital resources), people resources, policies and procedures.

What is a successful library to upper management? NHM wanted:

1. Library is used physicallly [and virtually]
2. Everything in the library has a purpose or should not be there
3. Technology is used wisely and effectively.

Demonstrate results.

Internal collaboration. In NHM’s case, that means IT, office furniture, supplies, infrastructure needs, strategic initiatives.

Get out of the library. Talk to people. What are your users’ priorities?

Collaborate externally: SLA, County Library.

Volunteers, interns. If you’re in a corporate situation, you should pay your interns. Make sure they’re learning something.

Many technologies to consider. Don’t believe people who promise their product will solve all your problems.

Tech strategy: Supplies the rationale and priorities for funding, ensures priorities are addressed in a timely and appropriate way.

Needed online catalog access, e-content access, access to sectional libraries, intranet, external web site.

Needed something in the cloud.

Updated to add: I should point out that this session was sponsored by EOS International and that Hulser praised them highly for helping him accomplish his goals. (Additional disclosure: they gave attendees a boxed lunch.) However, many of the principles that Hulser talks about would apply no matter what library database system you use.

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