|Is this all we are?|
But what we were getting at in class was that librarians cannot stand by and be lectured at by others about what they should and should not be doing. We should be actively finding out what our community wants and getting it for them. It is easier said than done to canvas a whole community but there are some basic ways of finding out what your people want. An excellent idea that Prof. Lankes brought up was having the normal 'book return bin' and then having a 'great book return bin' so that librarians could easily see what was being enjoyed and they could get more works like it. This obviously has its complications such as the subjectivity of what a good book is and the breadth of people using libraries and those people who don't use the book bin but return books to the desk etc. However, in theory this would be a great way of getting an idea of what your community is reading and enjoying.
We should not just be buyers, or consumers, we need to be somewhere in the middle and facilitate production and consumption. We should provide facilities for the community to create for themselves. This does involve a radical redefinition of our role but that is the only way that we are going to survive in this ever changing world. Publishers, the music and ebook industry also need to change if they are either to combat piracy or use it to their advantage.