Be restocked : reflect on where you’ve come from

ROften we are so busy moving forward that we don’t find the time to look backwards or sideways, not taking stock of how we actually got to where we are, and reflect on why we are on the current path we’re on.

What if … you could set up your library all over again?

Right from the very beginning (whether that is 5 months ago or 100 years ago). What would you change? What would you keep? What would you never have done in the first place?

What if … you developed a library timeline? Find the information, and then tell your story to demonstrate the ongoing development and redevelopment of your services & then showcase the stocking and restocking of your collections.

For example, a public library might begin with this:

  • In 1910, we had one branch. We had 60 members, all men. Joining required a recommendation from existing members. Books could only be read in the library. We has books in English and Latin.
  • In 1950, we had five branches. We had 7000 members, and 40% were under 20 years old. We had vinyl records, printed books and magazines.
  • In 1990, we had four branches. We had 5500 members, and less than 25% were under 20 years old.
  • In 2010, we had seven branches. We had 10,000 members. We had ebooks and DVDs. Our most requested book was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  • In 2030, what will our library look like?

What if … you asked your customers the question, “If we started all over again, how would you like us to restock your library?” and then you reallocated next year’s budget to restocking the library how your customers actually want it to be?

It might surprise you to know that your customers want more graphic novels and less audio books on CD, or that they want more desks and less couches, or it might not. Why not take the time to pause & restock to match the needs & wants of your customers.


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