This week’s readings by Bradford Lee Eden and Karen Coyle/Diane Hillman reminded me of another: “Blow up the corporate library” by Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak written more than 25 years ago. This article pressed corporate librarians to demonstrate value, to stop treating the library as a bunker, and to bring the library into the mainstream of the business.
Where I work, I’ve seen how, to most users, it does not matter that “libraries currently are the only conduits for a wealth of published literature that is not available for open access on the public Internet” and also that “users will engage with services that provide materials quickly with least effort.” Under threat of closure, our library earlier this year reviewed users’ needs, interviewed management, and developed a vision statement and goals. New services, such as tools for information access and research guidance on publishing needs, are planned. We haven’t yet gotten to an “application of business models to workflows,” but projects with different “communities of practice” are underway.