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For librarians, being more progressive means embracing new ways of approaching their job and the role of the library in a university. Progressive librarians are working to revitalize libraries by making them more than simply places that store information. Part museum, part lab, progressive libraries are exploring and defining their services based on people’s needs.

“Librarians find themselves in the midst of trying to reinvent themselves and what they do,” says Sebastien Marion, virtual services librarian at New York Institute of Technology. “The challenge is how to go from book-storage places to collection places to places that engage with skills.”

Progressive librarianship has a number of defining components. Progressive librarians support reading culture, in an academic environment in which many are pushing for all-digital libraries. Progressive librarians support personal learning, and see the library as a place where personal learning and lifelong exploration can take center stage.

Here are 10 tips for librarians looking for ways to become more progressive.

1. Focus on the human component: Libraries might be seen as places to go work quietly, but progressive librarians look for ways to make libraries more human-centric.

2. Think horizontally: Look at what other industries are doing to accomplish the goals you want to, not just what other libraries are doing. This is one of the most important things a progressive librarian can do.

“We want to demystify and democratize the learning process, so we’re essentially thinking like a museum,” says Marion. “So I can think horizontally about what a museum in the country is doing, and it could inform what I’m doing as a librarian.”

3. Teach people to learn: Knowing how to seek out quality information and learn new things is a skill that will serve people for their entire lives, and as information curators, librarians are uniquely qualified to teach people that skill.

“It’s great to get credentials from an accredited institution, but when you leave, you want to know how to continue to inform yourself and improve yourself,” says Marion. “In that sense, there’s a piece about information literacy and information fluency.”

4. Think in terms of curating contexts: People are suffering from information overload, and progressive librarians look for ways to alleviate that problem. Curating content for specific contexts is one way librarians help people navigate information effectively.

5. Consider experiences: Libraries can provide experiences, and progressive librarians find what kinds of experiences users would like at their library. This could be a specific study atmosphere, or a particular use of space, technology or devices. Progressive libraries aren’t just about stockpiling information.

6. Think input: There are many forms of information available to people today, and progressive librarians consider how people use each of them so they can incorporate them into a learning network.

7. Think output: Instead of just curating input, progressive librarians also create unique content. They’re involved in course creation, events and helping people become (and remain) more civically engaged and involved.

8. Use technology wisely: Technology is important, but it should be used in a way that fosters a connection between people instead of replacing it.

9. Create choice: People should be able to choose tools, environments and material to suit their needs and wants, and it’s the role of the progressive librarian to ensure that all these choices are good.

10. Experiment: Progressive librarians treat the library like a lab, trying new programs and ideas and expanding on the ones that work.

“The kinds of skills and opportunities we want to support engage personal learning and reflect the fact that learning is iterative,” says Marion. “You’re going to be learning for your entire life.”