Today is the last day of Blog Every Day of June, so I thought it appropriate to talk about when a project should finish in a library.
The quick answer is never.
Let me clarify. Any new service, equipment, initiative, procedure etc being started in a library has an implementation program. The implementation part has a finish date, but the new ‘whatever’ it is, shouldn’t.
For every new thing that comes into our libraries, there should be a monitoring and assessment program that is ongoing, either until the day it dies or is replaced, or otherwise forever. Not only does this help you to assess whether it’s being used and whether its an effective use of your staffing hours and resources, but only it gives you useful data for demonstrating your library’s worth.
On a side note, the same goes for professional development. It also does not end when you have finished your qualification. It goes on and on and on and on and on……
This question also has a second answer. It is also no. But it should sometimes be yes.
If we had these ongoing monitoring programs (and in some instances, even when we do), we need to determine when the point is reached that running such a program/equipment/service is no longer justified, in whatever terms have been set. So when we start, we need to determine what will be considered a success and what will be required to write off the project as completed once and for all.
We are good at starting things in libraries, not always so good at finishing them. And there are many things we do that require no finishing, but do need to be demonstrated as having worth and ongoing assessment will give us that. In fact, we need to be shouting out about them from the rooftops, but that’s another issues altogether.
But there are things we do, that do need to end and we need to let them go. That can be hard, so work out what it will need to look like for that to happen and we might just find it easier to do it when the time comes.
Thanks everyone for following patiently during the last 30 days of blogging. Looking back, I never thought I could have so much to say in this forum. Not all of it was good, I freely acknowledge.
Surprisingly, I find that there are a couple of things I had planned on, but didn’t blog about in this month, so there will be more to come, just not every day, (sigh of relief for everyone!) and probably not even this week.
But I thank you for joining me on this ride and for your comments, they are both truly appeciated.