Idaho Commission for LibrariesAddress: 325 W State St., Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 334-2150 | In-State Toll Free: (800) 458-3271
Printed from the Idaho Commission for Libraries website: http://libraries.idaho.gov
Barriers to resource sharing services
On November 14th and 15th, I had the opportunity to participate in a forum to discuss the future of resource sharing. Twenty-five people representing all sizes, types, and geographic locations of libraries were present. One of the goals was to consider the challenges we encounter in providing resource sharing services and think beyond current services to what we think resource sharing might be in future decades. The whole experience got me to thinking more about barriers.
One activity had us listing both problems and solutions for resource sharing. All the while, we wanted to stay user focused. So many of the problems we listed, though, seemed to lead back to policies, libraries, and staff issues. I found myself wondering, ‘what if WE are the problem?’ Our rules, policies, practices, need for control, barriers, multiple systems, confusing procedures, and all the checks in place for those just-in-case/exception situations are making it difficult to provide convenient library service to our users.
What can we do to lift the barriers and make it easier for library users to USE resource sharing services? When I talk about project management, I often ask people, “What is the easiest thing you can do now to make a significant impact on achieving the desired goal?” So, I wonder now, what is the easiest barrier we can lift to make resource sharing more convenient for library users?