Emily Clasper is, among other things, the creator of Library Revolution, a well-needed shot in the arm to the library field. Emily pulls no punches, writing about everything from librarian's fashion sense (or lack thereof) and how you can't complain about the public's image of a librarian if you don't promote a positive image to how she doesn't feel (in general) that the library is very convenient and that she'll use other services that are convenient even if she has to pay. It's great stuff. She makes me angry almost every day.
And that's a good thing. She presents an attitude, an opinion of the library that's very honest and probably directly in line with how many patrons and potential patrons think. Her basic premise is: this is my life (points to space around her), what is the library going to do to make a presence for itself in my life?
Yes, what can the library do to make a presence in the patron's life? Be open 24 hours? Extend checkout times? Get rid of due dates (a la Netflix)? Provide easier and multiple ways to sign up for events? (why do we insist people come INTO the library to sign up for an event? What if the patron has the time during the event free, but really doesn't have any time leading up to it free?)
The library is about the patron. The librarian is not better than the patron. The patron is not some evil thing out to destroy the library.
The patron may cause the destruction of the current library model, and that's ok. Libraries mostly exist in a 19th century frame of thought. Times have changed.
Today, Emily makes an important point that I've tried to make in the past. It's not enough to keep up with library blogs and journals. You need to read outside the field. And you need to make time to do this. This is true of any profession you're in. You cannot be successful, you cannot be revolutionary (and maybe many of you are content to put in your time and retire some point in the future...I'm not) if you subsist only on your field.
Think about it. Do you listen to only one type of music? Do you watch only one type of movie? Do you read only one type of book? And by one, I mean one. By one I mean you watch sports television and NOTHING else. No news, no sitcoms, no dramas, no DIY, no cooking, nothing. Just sports. Who does this? No one. There is no librarian who is so singular in focus that they do nothing but one thing in their time outside of work. If you're like that outside work, why not during work?