by Hal Kirkwood, Indiana Chapter, Business & Finance, Competitive Intelligence Divisions
‘Alice remarked in great surprise, “Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! In our country, you’d generally get to somewhere else if you ran very fast for a long time.”’
“A slow sort of country!” replied the Queen. “Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.”
An article that I have kept and reread over and over is by Arnold Hirshon in Advances in Librarianship entitled ‘Running with the Red Queen: Breaking New Habits to Survive in the Virtual World’. In this article he talks about reinventing reference, meeting increased customer expectations, changing strategic directions, changing our physical spaces, changing how we collaborate, coping with the speed of technological change, and integrating technology effectively.
This article was written in 1996.
These issues are as relevant now as they were 15 years ago. The competition from Google, the multitude of technological options available, the need for building information literacy skills, the necessity to change our physical spaces and how we connect with our constituents are all challenges we as information professionals must face today. We must define our role. We must create the future. To remain relevant we have to run twice as fast to get anywhere, this is what Future Ready means to me.
Hal Kirkwood is the Associate Head of the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management & Economics at Purdue University. He is a past-chair of the Business & Finance Division.
Hal is currently running for one of the two Director positions on the SLA Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.