As spring slowly pokes its way along the Virginia horizon several observations come to mind.
First is the difficulty in getting individuals and organizations to properly acknowledge the library in print. I have been here over 8 years. During this period I have lost track of how many times Patrick Golden, our program services director who handles media relations, and I have worked with local organizations to correct how our name is presented in publications and programs. You would think that one communication with each organization would handle it, but it does not work that way. Just the other day I went to an event where the library’s name was actually correct on one page of the program but totally wrong a few pages later. This organization has been strongly reminded on several occasions in the recent past as to our correct name. Maybe I should count one out of two as progress.
Second is that it is becoming difficult to separate the essential from the non-essential in how the library communicates with our public. The Williamsburg Regional Library is currently undertaking a thorough review of its web presence with the goal of introducing a new web site in 2010. While our current web site continues to receive recognition for its clarity and design, we acknowledge that it needs to be better. Any new web site must incorporate technology such as RSS feeds, podcasts, and improved searching options to more effectively reach and inform all individuals within our community about library programs and services.
This process brings up the question of how far does the library go in employing technology in communicating with our public. Does the library use technology such as Facebook, Twitter or Second Life simply because it is there and embraced by some in the profession and in our user community? I am not sure that this way of dealing with technology is either wise or the best use of limited resources. I am also concerned that individuals, and institutions, can spend too much time “communicating” and not enough time in accomplishing the essential tasks necessary to provide quality library service to all our users whether they come to us through the Internet or in person.
Third is as I look out of my office in the Williamsburg Library and see city grounds crews at work trimming bushes, planting flowers and cleaning up library grounds from the winter slumber, I realize how lucky the library is to not have to deal with outside maintenance at either of our facilities. Both James City County and City of Williamsburg grounds maintenance staff take pride in maintaining library grounds. For that I am immensely thankful.
The final observation at this time of awakening hope that it will finally become warm enough for the duffer in me to lose golf balls again (I do not do winter well) is how wonderful it is to be part of a staff that takes pride in giving quality service to all library users.
So long for now!