We spoke with Computers in Libraries 2013 speaker Hutch Tibbetts to get his thoughts on the future and evolution of libraries and we think you’ll be interested in what he had to say!
Hutch is a Digital Resources Librarian at Douglas County Libraries where he manages their online collections and supports their digital services.
Our theme for CIL this year is Evolving in New Directions. How do you see our libraries evolving in the next few years?
We’re increasingly moving in the direction of businesses and companies, where innovation and redefinition is the norm, not the exception. We provide mobile apps and in-browser readers to simplify access and delivery, collaborate with the local schools and businesses to share resources, and are not afraid to experiment in hope that the results will benefit not just the library, but the community we serve.
What innovative things have you seen libraries doing that others could learn from?
Instead of modeling ourselves after the library district to the north or the library system to the south, we’re taking our cues from Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. These are where our residents increasingly spend their time, so if we want to keep and retain them, we need to offer viable alternatives to iBooks, iTunes, Google Play and online eBook sellers.
Are there new skills necessary to evolve libraries in the future?
We need skills not only to help our patrons, but to help ourselves. Search no longer is good enough. We need to know how to use Office and write resumes, have the ability to present and provide outreach, to create a webpage and develop content. We’re all doing something unique and special in our libraries, so now we need to go out and share that with the communities we serve.
Hutch will be presenting the following sessions:
- Monday, April 8 – Improving Search & Discoverability of Digital Content
- Tuesday, April 9 – We’re in the Ebook Biz: Econtent & Epublishing Adventures