Thursday, May 26, 2005UK report: The public library service in 2015
A report from the Futures Group: Public library service in 2015 (pdf).
"[Libraries] will need to segment [users] by the nature of their requirements, sometimes they will need to segment them by their financial status."
"There are many examples of new technology being used for old uses, with no real exploration of what it can do. For example, netLibrary uses web-based texts to create e-books that are issued like traditional books. A more inventive use of the same technology might be to create a national electronic back catalogue for storing out of print texts that can be downloaded by library members to wherever they happened to be"
"Libraries are not well supplied with change managers."
"In the public library of 2015, marketing will play an increased role"
"Staff almost always score highly in terms of friendliness and approachability in customer surveys. However, when asked about how knowledgeable staff are, satisfaction ratings are lower."
"These changes in library staff requirements will draw attention to staff who will have little to contribute to the new service and who are unable or unwilling to change, or who may even actively work against the revised objectives of the service organisation. It is vital that these people leave and a variety of methods should be used to assist them in this." [though good staff should be renumerated more appropriately].
"While public funding is the only guarantee of free access to the service at the point of delivery, the particular form it takes could change."
"a bookshop and library could share premises with the library remaining free and the bookshop taking profits from sales, and absorbing the lion's share of the infrastructure costs. Similarly, a library could be sited within, say, a supermarket with the same type of result"
Also discusses roles for central government, local government, and library schools.
Premium services could involve home delivery of books, even within the hour, by mail or courier.