May 23, 2005

On Michael Porter's Mission Statement

I enjoy Michael Porter's (aka Libraryman) blog and his view on the world of libraries. He works at OCLC now and he's busy, after many months of teaching tech on cruiseships and working as a Gates Trainer! His posts are pretty darn cool, grab his feed!

In January 2004, Michael came through Mishawaka and we sat down for Thai and talk. It helped me decide to pursue the PhD!

Michael gets it and gets it well. On Mission Statements:

A librarian's professional mission statement would be pretty darn impressive. Sure, Google says they want to "do no evil" but we library professionals are really striving hard to "do only good" while swimming in an increasingly Googlefied information world. Because of this, my professional mission statement is in what seems to be a permanent state of flux. I like it like this, even though I get dizzy on occasion. Like many of the fine folks reading this, most of the flux in mission is due to technological changes and the speculations that can be extrapolated from reading a great deal and talking with smart library and technology professionals.

I have written about blogger's missions... but the idea of a personal mission statement for me as a libraraian intrigues me. What are my values? Goals? I think though, we can have some core values that never change: maybe one goal for me is to serve library users the best way I can. Because I don't do as much public service I have to find other ways, such as training staff to blog, use new technological tools and showing them what is within their reach as librarians.

MP notes he discusses stuff with colleagues. OH yeah! You know, dear readers, that I am all about the rubbing of elbows and exchanging knowledge and experience. Just a couple of days ago, my cell rang and it was MP to shoot the breeze for a sec about some cool development in libraryland. Nice.

Look into MP's crystal ball:

My readings and watching and discussions and thoughts tell me libraries will be drastically different than what they are now. My gut tells me a lot of folks reading this won't have a job in libraries in 20 years if we aren't very, very careful, active, thoughtful, creative and hard working. What will libraries do and be in 20 years? They will be all about technology (however small and portable), resource sharing, partnerships, training, and acting as physical spaces to play, learn, share and develop community. Yep, those are all words in my professional mission statement. I hope they are in yours too.

So, shall we ponder our mission statements? Is this like Planning for Results for Librarians? What goals and objectibves do you have?

Posted by Michael at May 23, 2005 04:16 PM | TrackBack
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