Picture yourself at an Indian restaurant for a lunch-hour buffet. You start your plate on one end of the table and start piling the mouth-watering food until the plate is just completely full. But then you realize there’s that warm, freshly-baked naan waiting for you to add to your plate and you know your lunch wouldn’t be complete without it. What do you do? What do you do?!!
In some ways, librarians are faced with this type of decision all the time. We’re all doing this fantastic work, our work “plates” are completely full, and then an idea pops into our head and we just know our patrons are going to love it! So you start working on that idea and you soon realize that something’s gotta give. You can’t do everything! You have to make room on your plate for that new idea and that means finishing off that butter chicken…er, library service. But the question remains, “What do we stop doing?”
One of the most spirited and popular discussions at CLUNCON centered on this very question. What can libraries stop doing in order to make room for the new ideas we all want to pursue? Here’s a list of some of the points mentioned and recorded on our tabletops:
- criteria for keeping a program/service: are staff invested/engaged? (they’ll work gladly at it)
- but what if they need to let go…community can outgrow a program/service
- do we need a website? when everyone’s on fb, twitter, etc. sometimes it feels like “nope.” are websites for US? if we create content, where does it go? create/curate tension
- Summer reading club: “artificial timeline for amazingnesss”
- “stop signs” – saying “no”? policing people? library card expiration and checktout limits
- stop paying staff to write for “for profit” media outlets?
- print reference? listen to ency britannica when they say when
- content delivery changes – 8 track > cassette > CD > ? don’t get cut out!
- how can we stop saying no to patrons?
- “stickers are just tiny signs”
- portal vs full blow website?
- patron driven acquisition instead of staff
- distribution of games
- large TS departments
- in-house cataloging
- volunteer (community service)
- summer reading
- exaggerated YA services
- laminating book covers
- adult program (+kids)
- how do you get staff to let go of things that aren’t important to users anymore?
- re. tech obselecence, what about people who can’t afford the newest devices?
- where do you draw the line at marketing?
- how do we accomodate the digital divide?
- becoming content creators for our websites
- is there support for project w/ staff? \
- no print refernece buying – what we have is going to circulation
- print reference – duh
So, which of these resonates with you and your library? How do you come to an agreement about what you’re going to stop doing? Let’s hear from everyone!