Library Directors’ Summit

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Last month I attended a conference sponsored by Library Journal in partnership with Chattanooga Public Library.  Library directors, nationwide were invited to talk about public libraries in a state of transformation.

Dr. Peter Bishop, Strategic Foresight, University of Houston gave the keynote address : Anticipating Innovation to Build a Resilient Organization.  He challenges the common approach to planning by asking:

Do we have to have a plan in order to be successful?

Answer: No, because that’s impossible.

Dr. Bishop advises libraries and organizations to prepare for the future by:

  • Think contingently, what if?
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Be prepared for the new era
  • Learn fast!

As 2015 a new reality dawns for Manitowoc Public Library approaches with decreased resources, a decrease in staff and shorter service hours, I have asked the staff  to learn fast and be prepared for this new era.

In 2015 we will be changing the structure of the library in two ways.  One with a new service for the public and the other with a new software service for internal operations. An on-line tutoring service will be available for anyone with a Manitowoc library card.  The on-line service has tutors available to help students and adult learners in 40 subject areas.
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The software service, Collection HQ will help us make more strategic purchasing decisions by matching check-out trends with future purchases.  We will be able to focus buying on what customers have been using and also analyze our inventory to find areas that need specific subject material.

Throughout 2015, I’ll keep the advice of Dr. Bishop close by and guide the Manitowoc Public Library to be a resilient organization.

Cherilyn Stewart
Manitowoc Public Library Director