The three key points I took from Laura Cole’s talk on the ‘The Reimagined Library’ were:
Considering information accessibility
Focusing on the needs of all users was a very powerful message in Laura’s talk. She used the example of someone who was blind and someone who was in prison to discuss how a library may transform in order to be able to serve the full community, not just those fortunate enough to be able to visit a physical library and have the capacity to read. In an organisation this type of accessibility would involve ensuring your content met Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and that you surveyed the organisation employees to find out if they were able to access content.
The library is no longer the destination, the patron is the destination
Digital transformation means that there is a shift in the consumption of content. People no longer have to come to a library to view content and therefore, libraries and librarians need to rethink where they can add value. My work in the public service has similarly issues with more communications moving to the online space with colleagues. Holding online events like “Ask my team anything” and having an active social media presence are an important way of staying present in people’s minds and therefore staying part of conversations and being able to guide people in the right direction.
Curation will require adapted skills
During my under-graduate degree, I would only go in to a library to study or if a lecturer mandated the use of a certain book. Now depending on how you look at this, it either means that librarians were not doing a good job of engaging me or they were doing such a good job that I didn’t have to go in to the library to find what I needed. Ensuring that as much content is available online and that content is appropriately cataloged is a vital skill for current and future librarians. Understanding concepts like the semantic web and what html tags to use so that a document can be correctly ingested by plugins such as Zotero and EndNote were things that made the library so valuable to me, even though I didn’t realise it at the time.