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Just Do It: Part II April 13, 2010

Posted by michaelpawlus in Uncategorized.
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Yesterday I made a post about the response to the latest DCMS report.  I think I need a quick postscript/follow-up post to say that I undersand that a lot of libraries are already moving on the action items listed in the report.  In fact, the report states that almost all libraries already offer free internet, access to social networks, and membership from birth. 

So, when I say that libraries need to just move on these ideas, I guess what I really mean to say is that the complaint of the document shouldn’t be that it is too vague and “has no teeth”, the complaint should be that out-of-touch, broad view government oversight is unneccesary and libraries are already working to change their service and meet new user needs. 

I think what I mean to say is that the critics are mostly write and the DCMS document does not effectively layout anything new to say what libraries are doing currently and what is working and where they are headed.  However, I think where I get confused is that sometimes it seems like there is an over reliance on government agencies to do all teh strategic thinking.  Most people who work in libraries have Master’s degrees.  That education isn’t to train individuals to run day-to-day operational tasks it is to train them to think strategically and make plans.

I think if DCMS is criticised in this way it seems to suggest that libraries are just not being lead well.  However, if libraries start to show what they are doing individually to meet a comunities need I think there can be a re-focus to show that libraries are doing a fine job leading themselves and do not need to be guided by grand national programmes that may or may not be suitable for their users.  I think the main point I am trying to get at is that it is not enough to say that the DCMS report is a poorly constructed document.  The next step is to say that despite poor leadership at this high level there is effectively leadership happening at the community level where it really matters.

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