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The need for digital resources to support the paradigm shift
Part 6 Barriers and change agents
Barriers and change agents. Change agents and what they mean to the current library environment.. Teaching paradigm shifts. Teaching styles have changed dramatically in recent years, there is much more emphasis on discovery and project based learning. This means a greater reliance of current resources presented in a format suited to the needs of the client. Essentially this means less reliance on text books and more on ‘other’ forms of information . Use of digital teaching resources. Digital resources are available in a multitude of formats ranging from information suited to smartphones and PDAs to internet wireless ready material suited to laptops and people on the go. Changing clients needs. Our clients now tend to be time poor, needing information that is quickly accessible, relevant and in ‘bite’ sized chunks. Our clients tend not to read for information, they search for information and they need results quickly. Changing learning styles Generations X and Y. Classroom based learning does , in general, not suit the current generation. It is a visual generation not a text based one. The information has to be presented in fast short bites very visual very audio based . In essence digital material. Ever advancing technology. This library environment cannot be seen to lag behind in the use of current technology why use the facility if clients have access to better faster more glamorous technology elsewhere.
More technologically aware clients. Gone are the days of a client group new to computers, today’s clients are computer and internet savvy and are heavy users of all things technological. It is of little use providing a slow internet access , the client expects the latest broadband speeds. The skill sets of staff. This will require a major reassessment of the skill sets of staff in the library facility. We will need staff who can act as trainers, resource developers , mentors, advanced web users. Who have a range of management skills suited to running, developing and expanding the facility and getting the best out of staff. Do we need librarians or do we need knowledge managers with outstanding entrepreneurial skills? Marketing library services. At the present time this library does not adequately market its services. The unit depends on the past to drive the future, in other words we will continue doing what we have always done because it has worked in the past. There is no effort being made to grow the utilisation of the facility or to advertise the range of staff skills available. Why would anyone use a service that they know nothing about.? Web presence. A web presence is an absolute necessity today for any business or service to survive. Does one exist for this library? No. Web 2 tools. The internet is now perhaps the most important mechanism for the dissemination of information and learning. It is essential that all library staff be well versed in the current crop of web 2 tools. Especially, searching , blogging, and the use of wikis.
Barriers. Staffing constraints. The current skill sets of staff is not adequate to facilitate this major upgrade, serious consideration needs to be put on professional development in the new areas of operation. Budgetary constraints. Budgets can be used to prevent the ongoing development of facilities and operations, in this case the use of this excuse will mean the end of a usable facility because no one will use it. Knowledge constraints Attitudes Attitudes are always difficult to change, they are often entrenched and supported by outdated philosophies. In a library environment it is easy to take comfort in the past and ignore the now. However in a knowledge driven environment it is a dangerous policy. Change is this library is essential if the future is to exist at all, as with all paradigm shifts we all start at zero and have to learn and adapt to the new environment. Will this happen? Only with good management.