How to Save Your Library
Nearly 2 years into an “economic downturn,” libraries of all kinds continue to be constrained. With fewer resources, both in terms of funds and staff, how can they cope with the demand for library services, which, ironically enough, is up?
For this issue, we asked contributors to tell us their tales of survival. What we got were plenty of perspectives and a lot of good tips.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library reports on how it’s moved to a model of “unified services” and has thoroughly cross-trained staff throughout all service points in order to cover shortages in some departments.
Western Washington University Libraries tells how it gave patrons 14 days to have their say, finding that open and noticeable assessment can be invaluable in improving underfunded services and improving the perception of the library’s services to both administrators and patrons.
Marshall Breeding provides a marvelous overview on how library technology can be used not only to reduce costs but also, hopefully, to strengthen the library’s standing in more prosperous times. Marshall’s thoughts are echoed by Janet Balas, who provides links to some useful resources for libraries operating under a budget squeeze.
Pamela MacKellar, a librarian in New Mexico, shares tips about getting a grant.
The issue also features the winner of an annual writing contest on search technology (see “Project Lefty: More Bang for the Search Query”), a piece on using digital signage to not only point people in the right direction but also to spread a message campuswide, and many other perspectives from our columnists and in-house editors.
I look forward to seeing you at our Computers in Libraries 2010 conference later this month, where more survival tools and tips will undoubtedly be exchanged.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor