The “C” word looms larger every year as the pace of change seems to increase relentlessly. Talk abounds of new technologies in libraries and the competencies necessary to implement them. Sarah Houghton-Jan recommends holding a class on coping with change as part of technology training. A recent discussion on the CLENE list revealed that many library organizations understand the need to address a fundamental acceptance of change before real advancement can be made in training. Infopeople shares its materials from two workshops on change—Effective Change Management and Living With Change.

In compiling the WebJunction Competencies, I added sections for “staying on top” in which I defined competencies for understanding the “resources and strategies for keeping up with new technologies.” I would like to augment that with a definition of competencies for CHANGE:

  • Be Curious. Maintain an openness to new ideas and, at the very least, find out more about them—how they work and how they might enhance library service.
  • Put your Heart into your work. If you seek to provide the best service to your patrons, the need to change will follow more naturally.
  • Take Action. If you are proactive in looking for new directions and possibilities, you’re less likely to feel steamrollered by change.
  • Nix the negativity. The “no, it won’t work” response to innovations won’t help you, your library, or your patrons.
  • Set realistic Goals for yourself. Accept that you won’t meet all standards all the time. Define for yourself (or with your supervisor) what skills and knowledge you need to do your best at your job.
  • Exchange knowledge freely. Help your colleagues to understand new systems and technologies. Avoid the all-too-prevalent tendency to play one-upmanship with techno knowledge.

Change is here to stay, so we might as well learn to love it.