Emerging themes

What is a library? Who are the users? A couple of questions to get us started as we began our first sessions of the Joint Use Conference. Consistently the message presented is that the outcomes of a joint use venture far exceed or are of greater value than the original motivation. The sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts.

Evaluation is identified as crucial – start the thinking of this when you begin the dialogue for a joint inititiative but to date no-one has started this process or indeed presented any thinking/exploration of how this might be done. The only suggestion is that perhaps occupancy counts more than loans.

Other themes include culture, catalysts, communication, customer experience, staff development and of course compromise. The benefits all outweight the issues. Increased confidence, independence and awareness are three of the benefits to customers not to mention acess. The weather is warm, the people friendly and the conversation thought provoking- a great combination. Frustratingly wireless internet is not working so I write this from the central library in Manchester an experience in itself.

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