Ok, so after spending a day at LibraryCamp I’ve drawn some conclusions about how libraries should be run. I don’t think many rules need changing, apart from EVERY RULE OF GODS AND MEN! Atheists and the ladies are fine:)
No books, ahahahahahaha only joking, however, book issues will not be a prime indicator of success. In fact, statistics, will become a dirty word and used as a secondary measure of performance indication. What the primary indicator is will not be known to make sure the librarians are kept on their toes.
All books will face forward. This will reduce shelf space by 2/3rds, which will be compensated for by offering free reservations. Borrowing habits will change; browsing, unfortunately, will be reduced. Users will browse the stock on display, collect the books they previously reserved and proceed to reserve more titles, to collect on the next visit.
No funding shall be raised through fines. Offenders who return books overdue will be penalised by a reduction in the number and range of items available to them. Conversely those who maintain a clean record will be rewarded with greater opportunities for loans.
All public network Library computers will be hideously powerfull liquid oxygen cooled gaming rigs capable of playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution at max framerate without crashing. And Farmville.
All computers will be attached to and hired out, as a distributed computing GRID capable of providing solutions to previously prohibitively large processor intensive problems (animation, protein folding, financial modelling).
All software will be open source, maintained by a sexy community of committed and enthusiastic coders (not a committed community of sex enthusiasts) headed by a well paid project manager.
Free vended tea and coffee will be available as well as a suitable selection of reasonably priced teas and coffees, fine wines, cask ales, spirits, liquors and a couple of bottled lagers. Food? Certainly cake. Probably one or two hot items; soups, pies and potatoes and definitely artisan sandwiches freshly made on-site.
The site will be managed by a retail expert who has grown tired of the mercenary, warlike attributes required for survival in the modern shopping arena. They will bring their desire to help people rather than just their desire to extract financial recompense.
All books will be for sale. As will a number of other items (branded stationery and small gifts, maps etc)
All staff will be easily indentifiable without wearing name badges. They will stare deep into their customers eyes, deep enough to see their very soul.
The initial awestruck gaze of the general public will be maintained by a marketing team so inspirational as to make Omnicom ads look like local radio. The PR dept will be an instinctual response from staff; each one so finely tuned into the Librarys’ ethos they’ll make Charles Prentiss look like Prince Phillip.