The topic of our fourth class was finance management. Honestly, everything even slightly resembling math is giving me high school anxiety. I felt like this topic is not for me. Or is it? I came back to education to fill the gaps in my knowledge (ideally) that I was experiencing in the workplace. When I was working as a cataloger for four years or later in Irish hospitality sector I had never come close to finance management and planning. Then I realized that finance management is exactly something that I should look into. I found Monica Crump’s presentation very in
interesting. It put a more human feel to the whole issue. I think I got a good taste of what it involves to manage finance in a library setting thanks to the presentation and the readings. I found the Accounting for Libraries bit dry, but giving a simple, but very good overview of the key terms and procedures. I don’t think that I now understand financial management, but I feel that I had identified an area that I should explore more, to acquire deeper understanding of the processes and management of information institutions.
Our sixth theme was strategic planning, which ties well with financial management. Katherine McSharry made her presentation extremely engaging and I really liked that. Something that really struck me was that National Library of Ireland is trying to build a sense of community in their users. I feel that many memory institutions had suffered a little bit of professional arrogance at times. From a perspective of someone interested in history of books and libraries this is completely understandable. We had centuries of censorship in different types and forms. Knowledge was deemed to be a privilege for a very long time. I think now all memory institutions understand, that to survive, they need to tell the users: “All what we have is here just for you!”. It is admirable to see this theme raised in a research library, and a national library nonetheless.