What is Your Library’s Mission and What Does It Mean to Users?

 These days more and more librarians are being asked to justify the libraries existance or budget and why administration should continue to support the library.  Joan and George from Infopeople discuss (podcast) mission statements, specifically how libraries describe their business and how they communicate their value in an effective manner. 

Often times our mission statements don’t describe what our users are going to get out of the library or how our customers benefit from our services.  So often our mission statements talk about collaboration, leadership, etc. but it doesn’t always translate to what we do for our users very well.  We need to connect what we do and how it benefits the users to better justify our case to our users and our leadership.

George’s and Joan speak about several great and not so great mission statements in libraries and other industries.  George’s example of a UK Academic Library’s 5 word mantra to describe the library to users, “Save time. Get better grades” is great. 

George and Joan primarily discuss public and academic libraries but a lot of their ideas can be applied to medical libraries.  It is an interesting dicussion that can cause you to think about your mission statment and how it might be reworked so that you can easily explain what your libary does for users.

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