Chris Batt is a Director of Chris Batt Consulting Ltd. [See Adie Batt] Until September 2007 Chris Batt was Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). MLA is the Government?s development agency for the sector and is responsible for leading strategic advice on the delivery of services to users, opening up access to the collections held in museums, libraries and archives. Previously Chris advised on the use of information and communication technologies in museums, archives and libraries, and led the Government?s People?s Network programme. His task was to connect all 4,300 public libraries to the Information Superhighway by the end of 2002, giving universal public access to the rich information and learning resources that are now being created in cyberspace. It was a project completed on time and in budget. Until August 1999 Chris was Director of Leisure Services for the London Borough of Croydon where he had worked for over 20 years. Closely involved in the development of Croydon Clocktower, the award winning cultural centre, his responsibilities as Director of Leisure Services included libraries, museums and heritage, the arts, sport and recreation, parks and open spaces, and tourism. Chris has a keen interest in the development of information technology for public use having been involved with the development of computer systems to support cultural heritage and learning since the mid-seventies. He has written many books and papers and lectures internationally on libraries, digital futures and cultural strategy. www.chrisbattconsulting.com
Libraries and revolution: Challenges for libraries in the 21st century
This paper considers questions to do with the philosophy and value base for public librarianship in the 21st Century. It adresses not what can be learned from teaching alone, but the new attitudes and thinking that need to be adopted as much by the teacher as by the student. We all face many possible futures and faced with uncertainty may avoid action or, at best, reaction to external forces. Yet there has never been a more important time for the library as knowledge institution to take a lead in learning, social and economic development. Knowledge is the raw material of the future, but can the library evolve to take on the leading role as manager of the knowledge supply chain? Can the librarian become the knowledge warrior?