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Beyond Merely Surviving: How Libraries Remain Relevant in Changing Times

On May 29, Dr. Rush Miller, Hillman University Librarian and Director of the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, gave a very informative and engaging presentation to a group of library directors and librarians.  He provided helpful advice on what kind of change would be needed to cope with the changing environment and how that change might be accomplished.

He emphasizes that libraries need to make not incremental but fundamental and transformative change in order to survive and thrive.  “Transformative change sets an organization on the road to remaining a vital player in whatever scene lies just beyond the horizon,” he said.  In terms of library services, he mentioned “user-oriented services must be replaced by user-designed services” and libraries should position themselves as knowledge provider.

Dr. Miller also talked about leadership, organizational assessment and development, staff development, collaboration and outreach development.  You can read more about these topics and case studies in the book which Dr. Miller co-authored “Beyond Survival: Managing Academic Libraries in Transition.”

Although he uses the examples of how changes have been managed at a large university library system setting, other types of libraries or smaller sizes of libraries can relate the information to their organization.

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