Posts Tagged ‘success’

Feed success

I was part of an interesting conversation the other day that stemmed from a post made by Greg on his blog Open Stacks. For today the most relevant part of his post was this:

The children’s librarian was unable to keep it going as she needed to start gearing up for summer reading.

So I did what any father/librarian would do. I offered to keep it going myself. Well, let me rephrase that. I suggested that the parents who were in attendance might do well to try to keep the momentum going and organize our own weekly storytime at the same time and in the same place as the program that was ending. There seemed to be enough interest for me to pursue it further.

It is what happened to an apparently successful program that concerns me. I do not know all the details of the situation, and never will. The apparent abandoning of a program that was working for another touched on some of my own experiences this week at the library where I work.

In two days, I encountered no less than three “because we have always done it that way” statements. This is apparently much more acceptable/common in the library profession than in the business one I come from. Businesses that stick to this mantra seldom last long and are very vulnerable to “sea changes” within an industry. Successful organizations have a culture that honors tradition and their core mission, while allowing for flexibility.

I know that Greg’s library may have been sort staffed, low on funds or in any one of a dozen other situations that may have precluded the continuation of the program he and his son where enrolled in. My point or maybe challenge is to encourage libraries, especially my own, to feed successful programs the resources and staffing need to keep them going and not end them “just because we have always done it that way.”

Libraries that can honor tradition and be flexible/responsive to the needs of their customers will be successful libraries. Not to sound to flippant, but a lot more “can do” in libraries would be refreshing.


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