Kentucky Library Association Conferences

This blog is a central place for conference attendees to check in on happenings around the conference. We hope this will help everyone share the excitement of the event.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

At the "Gaze Into My Crystal Ball" preconference talk on Wednesday, ALA's diversity expert Tracie Hall talked about trends that might affect public libraries in the future. One of her key messages was for us to realize that public libraries are moving away from what she called Information 411 -- basically, reader's advisory and little else. She said the libraries of today need to be focused instead on Information 911 -- providing services to customers who need information and need it RIGHT NOW. Tracie told us it is great to have all the new bells and whistles, but we also have to be able to "ring the bell and blow the whistle," reminding us to make sure our staffs are trained in the use of our new technologies and can help our patrons use them.

Tracie also reminded all of us that for many people, the library may be the only place where they see or talk to other people in the course of day; it may be the only place where they get to use a clean bathroom or have a quiet place to read for a few moments.

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