Libraries have never been just about books. At my library, I preach that it’s not the stuff inside the library that makes a difference; it’s the people, the librarians and library professionals.
So, what’s expected of a 21st century librarian? Take a look at my 10 c’s. I hope they serve as a guide for you or your organization just as they have for my library, the Topeka and Shawnee County (KS) Public Library.
1.We know our customers – their needs, wants, habits and interests. (The key to that is often market segmentation.)
2. We become information consultants, not simply information mediators. We’re not generalists anymore – we’re experts!
3. We make convenience a priority delivering services when, where and how people need them.
4. We communicate with each other and our customers in all the ways that work for them.
5. We create original content, not waiting for the questions but showing people what librarians can do for them. We blog, shoot videos, do podcasts.
6. We practice continuous improvement with our spaces, systems and ourselves.
7. We anticipate and manage change with good planning, strategic leadership & we’re actively looking for the next cool thing.
8. We connect with our customers, sharing not just our expertise but our personalities.
9. We stay current by doing environmental scanning, experimenting with new processes and technologies and providing experiences that mimic and draw on what people like best on the web and in physical space.
10. We collaborate – we have partners throughout the community and leverage resources and expertise to get things done.