#InfoCampSEA: 5 Things (and More) from SPL Keynote

On Saturday at InfoCamp Seattle, we had the pleasure of listening to a keynote speech by the City Librarian of The Seattle Public Library, Marcellus Turner.

Turner has been in this position for over a year and hails from the Jefferson County Public Library in Colorado. You can read all about him here.

His speech included 5 challenges for libraries in general and then 5 solutions that SPL will employ to better meet user needs.

First, the 5 challenges:

  1. More segmented user groups ranging in technical savvy from the digital unaware to adapters to natives
  2. Change by process takes time
  3. Libraries have an image problem
  4. Libraries can be internally focused with solutions rather than externally focused
  5. Libraries are inflexible physical structures meant to house materials

How does The Seattle Public Library system hope to address some of these challenges?

  1. Increased hours
  2. Better collections
  3. Improved discoverability online
  4. More community events
  5. Focus on technology, the culture and history of Seattle, and the physical spaces

Mr. Turner’s speech was inspiring and thoughtful. I was fortunate to work on a project in the Central Library Special Collections when I was a student and SPL is a wonderful resource in a community that values libraries.


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