FIS for short, this team focused on exploring trends and implementing ideas (IM reference for example) to help keep the library’s information services relevant. At the time a few of our staff also referred to this team as the “reinventing reference” team, but to me this title (which btw imho seems to have been a bit overused in library land) never seemed to fit properly.
[-- fast forward 14 months or so --]
I had completely forgotten about this annoyance until a former colleague sent me a few questions to answer for a visioning project his library system is working on. The questions he posed from the committee really made me think about this word ("reinvent") some more. Here's why ...
How and why have you reinvented yourself or your organization?
I don't think reinvent is the right word. I think of it more as "evolving" to keep up with the information and cultural shift that is already happening. Why? that's easy ... it's *imperative* to remain current and relevant.
As for me personally, I have always viewed "lifelong learning" as a personal pursuit and not a just a library mission moniker. It's a personal responsibility to keep up on trends and be as close to the top of my game as I can. And as public servant, it’s also an expectation and community obligation.
To me the word “reinventing” implies that the model is broken. I don’t think of "it" as being “broken”. But rather “it” (aka, libraries, information services, etc) need to adopt evolving philosophies and practices that ensure they remain relevant.
On a similar note, was also this question -- which makes me wonder that perhaps, sometimes, we really don't ask the right questions …
Do you feel that products and services are determined by need, or do people develop needs based on products and services available?
Hmm... this is loaded question which to me seems based upon some assumptions. It's like the chicken and egg - which came first? The answer lies not in the choices themselves, but rather in realization that products and services are an *evolution* of the constant adjustment to changing customer needs. As users become more savvy and sophisticated (because of their exposure to better products and services) their expectations change and mature and it starts the growth cycle all over again. "
How about you… do you think “reinvent” is the right word we should be using