Transcript of "How are you handling the new normal?"
How are you handling the new normal? <br />Presentation by State Advisory Council on Libraries (SACL)<br /> Thursday, October 6, 2011<br />with Merrillene Wood, Council Chair & Steve Fosselman, Council Member<br />& with thanks to Kate Borchman Hassebrook, Council Member and Kathryn Brockmeier, Nebraska Library Commission Research Analyst for their assistance<br />
State Advisory Council on Libraries MissionThe Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries is established by the Nebraska Library Commission to advise the Commission on statewide library development and planning. In addition, the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries will be utilized for: <br />
1. Advice and planning on such other matters on which the Commission may seek counsel. 2. Review and evaluation of interlibrary cooperative and resource sharing plans and programs. 3. Development, review and evaluation of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Plan, consisting of the Basic State Plan, Annual Program, and Long Range Plan. <br />
The membership of the State Advisory Council on Libraries "shall be broadly representative of the public, school, academic, special and institutional libraries, and libraries serving the handicapped, in the State and of persons using such libraries, including disadvantaged persons within the state," and geographic areas of the state.<br />For more information about SACL, go to http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stadv/<br />
SACL discussion throughout early 2010 <br /><ul><li> Tough economic times had brought about the phrase “the new normal”.
Governing bodies were increasingly incorporating program prioritization budgeting techniques instead of across the board cuts.
Many library budgets were being adversely affected not only nationwide but in Nebraska</li></li></ul><li>July 2010 – SACL decided to initiate a “Program Prioritization, Budgeting and a New Normal Survey Approach” conducted by Steve Fosselman, SACL Chair at the time, with assistance from Merrillene Wood, Kate Borchman Hassebrook, Council Member and Kathryn Brockmeier <br />
Resetting "Normal“, Roy Tennant’s blog entry March 19, 2010<br />… new "normal" for libraries the world over, although more acutely in some areas than others. These are changes that will be with us for many years to come, and I would suggest that some changes are permanent.<br />http://blog.libraryjournal.com/tennantdigitallibraries/2010/03/19/resetting-normal/<br />
We will have fewer staff.<br />People are usually the single biggest part of any library budget, and are often the only budget item large enough to absorb major cutbacks. We are unfortunately experiencing this right now. <br />
The staff we have will be focused on essential activities.<br />What’s essential? What isn’t? There’s the rub. What librarians think is essential may not be congruent with what others think is essential. As we are increasingly inspected by those who provide our support, we will find it necessary to pay attention to what our users and funders think is essential. <br />
Technology will continue to be used to create additional efficiencies. <br />We have gained a tremendous number of internal efficiencies through automation, although most of those efficiencies were simply plowed back into other services. However, I believe a key difference this time is that the efficiencies will not be plowed back into the organization, they will be necessary to deal with decreased levels of support. <br />
Services and open hours will be cut.<br />This is, of course, already happening. With fewer staff it becomes dificult to stay open as many hours as you had before. <br />
Locations will be consolidated.<br />Again, in many locales this is already happening. <br />
The fiscal pressures that libraries are under will transform the library systems marketplace.<br />Pressures on vendors to cut prices will be difficult to ignore. They will likely include libraries going to open source systems and paying a vendor only for support as well as new offerings that exert downward price pressure on the market. <br />
But Wait! We live in Nebraska!<br />http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/gapmap/<br />
However …Just for NE public libraries, comparing 2009-10 operating expenditures to the previous year:<br />11+% lower = 206-10% lower = 201-5% lower = 28Same = 9<br />38% lower or same<br />1-5% higher = 516-10% higher = 3511+% higher = 42<br />Just a quick look at data from http://www.nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/ - comparing only those libraries having stats for both years<br />
And …Just for NE public libraries, comparing 2009-10 materials expenditures to the previous year:<br />11+% lower = 416-10% lower = 241-5% lower = 31Same = 15<br />55% lower or same<br />1-5% higher = 276-10% higher = 2211+% higher = 52<br />Just a quick look at data from http://www.nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/ - comparing only those libraries having stats for both years<br />
So we set out on a two-year mission to survey the impact of the “new normal” in Nebraska Libraries<br /><ul><li> budgets
Rule 10 for schools</li></li></ul><li>2010 Survey – Services Eliminated (not asked in 2011)<br />Bookmobilebooks by mailcheck out of cassettes DatabasesLibrary paras and their time with studentsLibrary skills classes for studentsmarking books "new“ (although we keep the new books on a display table) monthly newsletterPreschool reading programsprint periodicalsReading BuddiesRegional Newspaper Subscriptions (KC Star, Chicago Sun-Times, etc.) some academic database servicesSome student projects Space for groups in the library consolitatedleisure library for residents and staff research library Summer Reading VHS collection Wall Street Journal subscriptionWeb Site special features <br />
2010 – Services Reduced (not asked 2011)<br />Acquisitionsadult and teen book clubs adult services advertisements in local paperamount of testing, pull-out for high ability studentsAudio Cassettes - Story Hourauthor visits; technology trainingbook clubbook purchasesbooks, audio books, dvds children’s programscollaboration with teachers Community outreach, nonresident free access (is fee now) standing order book sets duplicates, out of date items we are considering reducingelectronic reserveslamination/productionLibrary classesmagazines VHS (AV), materials in generalmedia van delivery nonfiction offerings Online-Database Access Outdated formats (audio cassettes)new equipmentTextbooks Purchased less expensive databasesreferencereference collectionsSaturday hours by 2 School age kids reading programsSenior Book ClubSmall print fiction reference material, physical and onlineSome staff services -- not enough time or helpstaffing at each of the elementary libraries.Sunday evening hours<br />
2010 – Services Expanded (not asked 2011)<br />electronic databasesweb resources online trainingaccessibility to early chapter books/series story time Adult education classesafter school programsafterschool homework assistancemobile laptop cart AudiobookofferingsBibliographic Instruction Book bag books book discussion groupsbook talks technology children'sservices and computer classes Children's summer programcollaborative teaching Computer classescomputer labscomputersCopying Services for students hours periodicals digital publishing servicesgroups meeting at the library FacebookGenealogical service and equipment Instant message referenceInter-Library Loanbooks in Spanish more storytimesMovie Nights, Summer Reading ProgramNebraska overdrive one-on-one reference/research assistance program Golden Sower programnew computer for public access internet readers advisoryReading Rewards ProgramResearch classesRotating DVDs Scrabble & Stichin' Day Spanish language computer class ……<br />
2010 Survey - If your library has prioritized its services, how would you list them from most essential to least (not asked 2011)<br />Generally stated, high priorities are:<br /><ul><li> customer service
staffing and hours</li></li></ul><li> Back to Roy Tennant’s blog entry:<br />If we find ways to refocus our efforts on where we really add value, and on adding value that our users and funders actually value instead of what we think they should, then this could presage a new golden age for libraries... It will not be easy, nor obvious what needs to be done. But it has already begun and the sooner we take control over it, and guide our operations down to the new normal withas much of our added value intact as we can manage, the more likely it will be that we will find the new normal to acceptable. <br />
Two general observations so far:Nebraska IS better off than many other states, and some locales have been able to handle the “new normal” better than others – still, it is happening. For those most impacted, controlling the advance of the “new normal” may not be an option, but we can control how we guide our operations down to the new normal with as much of our added value intact as we can manage.<br />
Discussion of Your Observations and Ways You Are Guiding Your Library Through the “New Normal”Including important factors such as:<br /><ul><li> technology
R. David Lankes, the Director of the Information Institute and the library science program at<br />Syracuse University, believes that what might kill our<br />profession is not ebooks, Amazon or Google, but a lack of imagination. We must envision a bright future for librarians and the communities they serve, then fight to make that vision a reality. We need a new activist librarianship focused on solving the grand challenges of our communities. Without action we will kill librarianship. – New England Library Association Annual Conference, October 2, 2011<br />http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/NELA.pdf<br />
We must go further. We must go deeper into our communities. We must bring radical positive change for our members. They are drowning in overpriced mortgages, our students are entering the job market with crippling academic debt, our children are struggling with under-performing schools.And we must take a deep long look at ourselves. How can we expect radical positive change in our communities if we are unwilling to change ourselves? We must put every function, every budget item, every assumption under the microscope. We do this not to find efficiencies or downsize or "do more with less," but to see if they meet the test of our noble and radical mission. <br />http://vimeo.com/23348812<br />
A Few More Resources:<br /><ul><li>"2011 Study released; highlights “new normal” impacting service to millions" http://www.ors.ala.org/libconnect/2011/06/21/2011-study-released-highlights-%E2%80%9Cnew-normal%E2%80%9D-impacting-service-to-millions/
“Tough Times and Eight Ways to Deal with Them” by James LaRue, American Libraries, December 29, 2009 http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/12292009/tough-times-and-eight-ways-deal-them
"Sanctuary amid the stacks", Los Angeles Times March 6, 2011 http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/06/opinion/la-oe-iyer-libraries-20110306
"The State of America's Libraries" http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries2011/index.cfm
"Memo to Libraries: Change or Die" Posted on July 13, 2011 by Jim Sweeney http://www.sweeneypr.com/memo-to-libraries-change-or-die/
"The New Normal: The Simmering Challenge Facing Librarians" Publishers Weekly June 20, 2011 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/trade-shows-events/article/47649-the-new-normal-the-simmering-challenge-facing-librarians.html?page=1
Local Government and Public Library Partnership Initiative (ICMA) http://icma.org/en/Page/884/Local_Government_and_Public_Library_Partnership_Initiative</li></ul>And a full report of SACL’s two year study will be published by November 2011 at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stadv/<br />
A Few Patterns for the Future<br />http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2010/08/03/oclc-indispensable-database-collaborative-or-social-media-prelude/<br />
And what if …<br />Nebraska was not only known for its BIG RED …<br />But for PLAID and other statewide library development patterns?<br /> just a crazy idea from Steve Fosselman <br />P ublic<br />L ibrary<br />A nticipation<br />I nnovation &<br />D rive<br />
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