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April 27, 2007



I'm glad you reminded us that this is larger than libraries; it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your particular field is the only one that struggles with what are actually universal challenges.

Younger people--in any type of organization--are most likely to agitate for change and the least likely to have a sense of the impact of that change on the larger organization. More experienced people have a valuable sense of history and perspective, but can become too timid because of what has not worked before. So the challenge is to somehow find a way to productively balance these two tendencies. And to have patience. And to (yes!) take time to enjoy those small victories.


I think the library community as a whole is more in the front of the pack than the publishing community. It is indeed frustrating when you don't feel the adoption rate of these technologies is where it should be, but I know far more librarians who use these technologies than publishers.


One of the ways to push change is to show rock-solid examples of how it can work, or has successfully worked, in other libraries. Sometimes, people who preach change come off as so arrogant and shame-inducing that they intimidate people and create resistance in people who might otherwise listen. As a longtime librarian, I have found that management is all ready to hop on the newest, hip thing, but will not keep up technologies that are useful but not the "hottest and newest." The ultimate benchmark in what gets adopted should be whether is helps you meet the goals your libraries set.

T Scott

I recall someone making the point many years ago that most people are not, in fact, resistant to change -- they resist making changes that don't have any apparent benefit or show any obvious improvement over what they're being asked to change from.


You have to be able to sell your idea to your audience, whether it be your patrons or the higher-ups in your organization; just because some new technology tool comes along doesn't mean it automatically needs to be adopted. Usability can play a big part, additionally, in people's acceptance or rejection of the latest exciting technology tool.

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