Indiana librarians want a multi-type statewide library community that is inclusive and serves all residents through every stage of life. We want to belong to a professional community that supports risk taking and innovation; that is cooperative, collaborative, communicative, and connected with each other and with our local communities, whether a town, campus or school building. We want library staff to have the skills and abilities they need to remain relevant in times of rapid change. We will remain a vital link to an educated citizenry with access to the information and resources they need, and we want to demonstrate that impact and relevance to our stakeholders.
But, we are concerned about the public's perception that the library is a nostalgic place, rather than a place that is relevant for today and the future. We know that we need to prioritize and let go of services that are no longer relevant, but we are overwhelmed with tasks and don't know where to begin. We are concerned that our staff do not have the skills they need for today's library, and it is hard to keep up. On top of that, too many barriers get in the way of patrons' seamless use of libraries statewide. The loss of K-12 librarians in schools is causing an information literacy deficit impacting academic and public libraries and eventually the workplace.
As we talk more about these concerns, we specifically talk about the following:
We believe the library community needs to focus on finding ways to connect librarians from all sizes and types of libraries, using a variety of tools. We also need to define what a 21st century librarian is, develop skills for all library staff, mentor new librarians, and provide training for trustees. We all need to work together to help school librarians in their efforts to provide information literacy and critical thinking skills to K-12 students. Lastly, we need to find ways to provide library services more seamlessly to all residents.
If the State Library, ILF, MCLS and other library services agencies worked together, and also worked with non-library groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce, we would be more likely to trust the effort and step forward.