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Rethinking the Way we Work in Libraries

Jaana Tyrni 
Espoo City Library, Finland

Library Science Talk
22.05.2012 15:30                               21.05.2012 15:30
Bern, Swiss National Library           Geneva, WIPO

Rethinking the way we work in libraries is the most important thing for a library director to do right now. In order to be successful in it, you have to do it with your staff. Because the environment of libraries is changing all the time, it is impossible to plan ahead everything at a detailed level. A management group of a library has to decide only the direction where library activities are going, but the steps to the goal should be planned with the staff and users. Taking responsibility of the future means constantly giving answers to questions like:

  • where  is this library going to, why are we going in this direction and what happens to each individual?
  • and the most crucial question for  everyone: "What happens to me?"

The presentation is about how to make the change visible so that everyone working or visiting a library can see what is happening.
Learning by doing, doing odd things, wearing working clothes, keeping library open during renovations, letting users make spaces of their own in a library, having staff meetings and training in open places are all means we use to demonstrate what is going on in present libraries.
The foundation for changes means also rotating both managers and staff from library to another. Social media makes it easy to share ideas among staff when you have 15 libraries and tell users about new services of a library.

Rethinking means allowing people to make mistakes and tell publicly about your own mistakes. Sometimes it means fighting against bureaucracy. This all takes courage which is the most important value of our library right now.

Biographical information:
Jaana Tyrni has been Director of the Espoo City Library for two years. Previously, she has been Director of regional services and Director of support services. She has worked as a project manager for the implementation of a new library system at Helsinki Metropolitan libraries.


For the talk in Geneva at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
External guests should register at library@wipo.int.

For the talks in Bern at NL
External guests should be at Hallwylstrasse 15 at 15:30. It is not necessary to register in advance, but for more information or a map, please contact Patrice Landry by e-mail or by phone at 031 324 06 25.

Back to overview 2012

Last updated on: 21.04.2012

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