“In this bloggable, cell phone camera world, your brand on the inside is going to be your brand on the outside. If you have a bunch of jerks, your brand is going to be a jerk.”
I think libraries as a whole have to consider the “plays well with others” factor in who they hire — for sure. It’s pretty simple, if libraries send jerks out to the community — the library is going to be considered a jerk too. And, however stereotypical, it’s hard to say that “grumpy & scowling” has not been part of the library brand for quite a while now. (Jerk? Well, I’d agree with that too, but I won’t add a link for that because I might end up calling some nice guy or girl a jerk). Thank goodness for efforts to change that image [snark].
This only goes to show that a user-centric library may have to also be fairly librarian-centric in the end. If we want to change our brand to something positive, we will have to invest our time and energy in attracting positive non-jerk librarians in the end. For alot of countries (and the U.S. is an exception to this) that are going to be looking at labor shortages in the next couple of years, this is going to be more and more difficult. In other words, it goes to show that going on a manifesto of user-centricity is not going to be enough to satisfy the needs of our users in the end. We have to consider the whole package. We can’t be user-centric, if our employees are jerks.