Developing and Communicating Your Library’s Mission

Does your library or information center have a mission, and do you know what it is? Could you recite it if your boss called you into his or her office? And do you channel “Jurassic Park” when trying to communicate it to stakeholders?

These are just some of the questions that were addressed in the September-October 2018 issue of Information Outlook, SLA’s online magazine. Two librarians and a marketing and communications specialist shared their perspectives on the issue’s theme, “Communicating Your Library’s Mission,” as did a pastor of a small church and a “thrivability” consultant. Following are excerpts from three of those perspectives:

“Like the organizations they serve, many libraries and information centers have mission statements. But what if they had mission questions instead of mission statements? How much more engaging and inviting would this be than the typical bland pronouncements about ‘providing resources and services’?”
Michelle Holliday, “Using the Power of Questions”

“What’s wrong with having a mission statement? Nothing. What’s wrong—or backwards, really—is the notion that great teams or organizations flow from great mission statements. It’s actually the reverse. Very few great companies started with a mission statement. Instead, they started with a passionate idea in the heart of their founder(s).”
—Karl Vaters, “Living Your Library’s Passion”

“. . . A typical researcher will spend a month of 8-hour days each year just reading articles—and this does not include time spent searching for said articles and other information. One can easily make the argument that this is not productive time. If, instead, a researcher asks a librarian for assistance finding information, that time becomes productive for the librarian—this is the librarian’s job, after all—and for the researcher as well, because he/she can use that time on other tasks.”
—Heather Kotula, “Incorporating Metrics into Your Mission”

The September-October issue also contains an interview with the co-authors of the best contributed paper presented at the SLA 2018 Annual Conference, the inaugural installment of a new column on career lessons, and insights into improving your online image. Become an SLA member and enjoy free access to all that Information Outlook has to offer!

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