Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Innovations in libraries: Need of the day

The library staff usually tends to become bored after doing same work over period of time. To keep interest alive, one must try something new though the original work may remain the same. This is nothing but one’s innovation and creativity, which helps in bringing new value to monotonous work.

As Michelle McLean mentioned in her post on the blog, four elements of innovation are creativity, strategy, implementation and profitability. Innovations not only bring out creativeness in librarians but also save the times of users.

Innovation is useful for libraries as it:

· Makes optimal use of resources
· Attracts new users
· Builds stronger loyalty among current ones
· Gives creative satisfaction to library staff
· Helps in smooth running of activity irrespective of existing or newly introduced
· To enhance the library image amongst management as well as user community

To give some examples from library background, following changes may be considered as innovations:


i.) The library visit now can be replaced by Virtual Tour / Library Map on internet / intranet site.

ii) Previously library marketing was done through Brochures / Pamphlets which is easier through Library Blog.

iii) Earlier reference service was provided in person but now it can be done remotely also by Ask A Librarian / Instant Messaging service

iv) Previously library collection had both print as well as non-print (CDs/DVDs) material which may be now replaced by Digital Library / Online databases etc.

The above examples uses the various tools provided by information technology (IT) applications. But irrespective of IT, the librarians can do many things such as:

1. Announcing “Best User” Awards to excel reading habits of users
2. Display of slow moving titles in themes for increasing awareness amongst users
3. Using user-friendly furniture & displays etc.
4. Creating “Book Clubs” of users

32 Tips To Inspire Innovation for You and Your Library, Part 1, 2 and 3 by Stephen Abram, SirsiDynix vice president of Innovation are also helpful in this regard.

The most important of all is one’s own determination to make changes as and when required for maintaining balance between the present scenario and latest happenings in and around library keeping in mind future planning.



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