Dictators and Tyrants

Office Party & Library 2.0

I was amused by what American Libraries chose to highlight in their mention of my talk at the Charleston Conference:

...T. Scott Plutchak, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham health sciences library, set the tone for the conference theme of "Things Are Seldom What They Seem" by declaring the imminent "end of libraries as we know them" as a good thing. "We have done a fabulous job of making it possible [for] people [to] get stuff without coming into the library," he noted, "but we have lost the connection with people by staying in the building." Plutchak said his library is involved in "going outside the building" by setting up liaisons with each academic medical department and offering the prize of an office party to any unit that adds the "ask-a-librarian" icon to its web page...

(SOURCE: Books and Serials Face an Uncertain but Exciting Future ,  SPECIAL NEWS REPORT : 25th Charleston Conference, By: G. M. E., American Libraries, 00029769, Dec2005, Vol. 36, Issue 11, p.p. 34-35, )

I love the idea of the office parties -- not that I can take any credit for it whatsoever.  Pat and her group came up with it last year when they were brainstorming promotions for Library Week.  The group that won that time was the perioperative cardiovascular nurses, and we have pictures of them grinning with delight when Pat & several of the others brought the cake & ice cream over to their lounge.  The nurses are all scrubbed up and gowned, ready to go if need be, and they were thrilled and gave tours of the brand new surgical suites and everyone had a great time.  And as I said to Pat later, "We don't want those folks to have to come to the library for heaven's sake.  They are right where they belong!"  And they love their library.

This past Monday, it was the graduate nursing faculty.  They'd asked us to come and talk about copyright issues (specifically, "what use can I make of copyrighted material in my online courses").  They'd won a party during National Medical Librarian's Month, so it was good timing.  Pat & Lisa & I stood outside the classroom where the meeting was going to take place, and gave them their treats as they came in.  It definitely establishes a different tone from the typical faculty meeting.

We're trying to have fun, of course, but there's a very serious intent behind all of this.  We're changing the way our community thinks about their library, and we're forging better relationships with the people we're committed to serving.  Our success depends on it.  So I'd recommend adding a couple of additional tools to the Library 2.0 armamentarium:  an ice cream scoop and a popcorn machine.


The comments to this entry are closed.