More thoughts on learning libraries

[Note: I've been reviewing nearly 40 posts tonight that somehow I've left hanging in "draft" status. This one stuck out as one of the few with a completed thought. I originally wrote it back in Feb.]

Mark from MB InformationDesign left a comment on my blog post about Libraries in Transformation that I think is just too good not to share ...

In my opinion, this is very true. We have the same discussions over here in Austria and Germany. Where to go? What to do? How to defend against SEs?

I don't think these are the proper questions. The concept of a teaching library is to enable the learn process and to support it. Libraries must find the way back into the learning scenario of students, not the other way. The question is: how can we help students to achieve their (learning) goals?

greetings from Dornbirn, Austria
Mark Buzinkay
MB Informationdesign

I think Mark makes a good point, the concept of a "learning library" should not be about teaching or instructing students about libraries and how to use library offerings (electronic databases, reference materials, etc.). But rather it should be about "enabl(ing) the learn(ing) process." This means providing every means possible to support learning it whatever environment (form, channel and/or technology) that the user is comfortable in.

A learning library should empower users to achieve their goals, not provide libraries with a means to push forward our own personal objectives (and yes, admit it... every organization has personal objectives that sometimes counter customer's needs - it's only natural).

I think the challenge here for many us in libraries is to realize that when we can abandon our own personal agendas in favor of our user's needs (and put them first at the top of the pyramid), we not only make our libraries more valuable to our community, but we also create a cascading effect that saturates the insecurities that drove those personal agendas in the first place.

BTW: The pyramid I see here is inverted with users filling up the the top plateau and library staff at the tiny pointed base, supporting this huge community through a flexible and adaptable balancing act that allows everyone to achieve success.

PS: Thanks Mark for granting me permission to share your comment. Sorry it took me so long to get around to it.

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