Carolyn在2003年被時代雜誌評選為年度最佳圖書館員，其麾下引導的圖書館Skokie Public Library位在美國伊利諾州，於2008年獲選為全美年度最佳圖書館與博物館之一，2014年Skokie Public Library又被選為組織改革和策略管理最有原創力的圖書館。她認圖書館館員應該具備良好知能、有覺察力與負責任，可以連結人、運用資源、並解決服務社區內的問題 (註1)。Carolyn在圖書館25年專業工作期間非常活躍，其傑出的表現促成她在2012年被選為全美公共圖書館委員會的總裁，今年任期剛屆滿。在此要說明美國公共圖書委員會是美國圖書館協會中成長最快速的組織，在全美各地會員達9,000位。
環顧影響全美公共圖書館重要的發明，她看到網際網路、數位出版、圖書館自動化系統、關鍵字搜尋、發現系統是影響公共圖書館重要的改變。儘管影響公共圖書館的重要因素非全是資訊科技，但是這些主要變革卻非常科技導向，也證明科技確實帶來很重要的影響。從資訊的爆炸讓資訊的單位成本變低，資訊取得的方式也越來越便利，資訊傳達的裝置透過平板電腦、手機隨手可得，此一發展結果更加凸顯圖書館員協助資訊選擇和資訊利用的職責加重，公共圖書館扮演社區資源中心，提供資源自由使用。回歸到變革的本身，應該以其所服務的社區或城市需要為主要訴求，所以在Urban Libraries Council所主張的口號「Inspiring Libraries, Transforming Communities」就是要館員在社區內尋求有創意的學習方式或人力資源，以科技為輔，讓社區機能有所改善與向上提升。
Library Watch：電子資源崛起，有些預言說圖書館將會消失。Urban Library Council的口號為「Inspiring Libraries. Transforming Communities」，請問改革的核心概念和價值是什麼？有些什麼創新成果？
圖書館改變了工作的內容，圖書館不會因此消失，進而會扮演社區資源中心的角色。誠如Urban Libraries Council在公共圖書館群所主張的口號，「激勵圖書館，改變社區」，是要讓圖書館員尋求有創意的資源、館外人力，成為創造者，去刺激與促進社區的改造。這樣的創造需以適應區域化發展的可行方案為主要考量。
Library Watch：As a leader and a director of the public libraries in the States for the past 25 years, can you name the TOP 5 innovation that made the most impact for the public libraries? Similarly, can you name the TOP 5 innovations that failed to make real impact?
Top Innovations of the last 25 years with an impact on public libraries in the U.S.
While there certainly are many innovations which are not technology dependent (Skokie Public Library was recognized by the Urban Libraries Council as a 2014 Top Innovator for Organizational Change and Strategic Management.) the innovations which have had the biggest impact on public libraries in the past 25 years are all technology based.
- Internet---The Internet with its implications for networking, searching, and communicating has had the most profound impact on public libraries in ways that continue to evolve as traffic moves more to WiFi.
- Digital publishing---Digital publishing revolutionized reference and periodical collections, providing access to much more timely information at a lower cost and with less of a footprint in the library building.
- Integrated Library System---The growth and refinement of the Integrated Library system has had a significant impact on access and resource sharing, shortening the time from ordering materials to their appearance in the catalog, and providing convenient access to both holdings and real-time shelf status of items in the collection.
- Keyword Searching----The ability to search by keyword in commonly used language has transformed information retrieval by eliminating the need for structured language searches, making possible full-text searching, and opening searching to lay persons.
- Discovery----The development of Discovery software with relational links to canvas a number of catalogs and indices in order to retrieve a broad sampling of search results from multiple sources and varying formats has made the single search more productive, if not necessarily comprehensive.
Innovations with less of an impact have been those of a transitional nature such as CD ROM towers or interim formats such as VHS tapes. While compact shelving has been quite helpful in scholarly collections, it is less useful in public libraries which do not retain most library materials indefinitely. QR codes held great promise, but have not really caught on in the U.S. as they have in some other countries. RFID has made self check-out, returns and sorting, as well as materials security more efficient, but has not been widely adopted due to its high cost.
Library Watch：With your continuing contribution to the public libraries, do you see various trends throughout the years heading toward a coherent direction? If there is one, what is it? If not, why?
Information has gone from being scarce and expensive to being overwhelming in its abundance and relatively cheap. Various trends throughout the years have also contributed to more convenient and ready access to information and library materials. These trends have shifted much of the responsibility for acquiring information and library materials to the lay person, relieving libraries of the need to be transaction focused with the simple provision of library materials and units of information. However, because there are so many options in information resources, interfaces, and technology used to access resources, library staff have become more involved with instructing and guiding library users in such activities as refining their searches, discovering appropriate apps, and downloading digital texts. Also, the more bits of information people acquire alone at their smart phone or tablet, the more they seek opportunities to come together with other people to make sense of the torrent of information. Through such engagement, information is transformed into knowledge and learning that, with reflection, may become wisdom.
Library Watch：As the electronic resources emerging and growing, some prediction indicates the libraries will be disappeared. The motto of the Urban Library Council is “Inspiring Libraries. Transforming Communities”. What is the concept and core value to the innovation? And what are achieved up to date?
As indicated in my answer to question number 2, the work of libraries is changing, but libraries are not in danger of disappearing. The public library will continue to be a central resource in the community, freely available to help individuals learn and to help communities thrive. Public libraries have a continuing role in community development as referenced by the Urban Libraries Council motto, “Inspiring Libraries, Transforming Communities.” The Urban Libraries Council seeks to stimulate librarians in large urban public libraries through such programs as the annual Innovators’ competition, and through focused learning opportunities which generally involve hearing from some creative people outside the library profession who have pioneered approaches to learning, use of technology, or enabling cities to work effectively. Of course, the networking among professional librarians is also critical for the sharing of insight and innovation and therefore is an activity fostered by ULC, the Public Library Association, and other professional organizations for librarians. True innovation solves a problem or addresses a need which may not even have been recognized by the persons who will benefit from it. Therefore, “best practice” should not encourage exact replication of innovation, but rather adaptation suited to the local environment.
Library Watch：From your prospective, what are the major differences of the public libraries between Taiwan and the States?
I’m not sure that I know enough about the public libraries in Taiwan to comment knowledgeably about the major differences between public libraries in Taiwan and the U.S. One thing I do know is that public libraries in Taiwan have carried the use of technology in the library much further than public libraries in the U.S. For example, I understand that some libraries in Taiwan use robots to retrieve materials from the stacks. While some academic libraries such as the main library at the University of Chicago have employed such technology, I don’t know of any public libraries in the U. S. that have done so.
Library Watch：What is your commend or recommendation to public librarians in Taiwan?
My recommendation to public librarians in Taiwan is to keep outwardly focused on the community and local residents to remain responsive and relevant to their ever changing needs and aspirations. Public librarians should also partner with people in other agencies in the public and private sector to help meet community goals in areas such as economic development, health, civic engagement, digital literacy, and education.
Library Watch：What are the success ingredients for the public libraries in the States?
Ingredients for a successful public library in the U.S. include: adequate funding, a supportive and knowledgeable Board, leadership with vision, a staff of varying backgrounds with excellent public service orientation, a strong commitment to professional development, visibility of the library in the community, engagement with the community through partnerships with other public and private agencies and participation in local events and initiatives. A successful public library contributes to addressing the primary goals and concerns of its community, making it unique in its responsiveness, and not just a replica of a library that has been successful elsewhere.
Library Watch：With your past experiences as a director to promote library enthusiastically, can you tell us more about your professional passion and believes ?
My professional passions and beliefs are probably apparent from my answers to the other questions, but I believe strongly in the public library as an agency for broad learning and community development. The public library in the U.S. is somewhat unique among public institutions in its enjoyment of public trust. This asset goes a long way toward enabling the public library to serve not just as a resource for materials and information, but as a connector among individuals and agencies within the community and as an independent “third space” where all residents can feel welcome and comfortable to pursue their individual learning goals. Staff enable the public library to serve as a portal to an ever wider array of information resources and formats, bringing the world of information to the individual in appropriate and manageable chunks.
1. Bethany Vaccaro(2011)， Carolyn Anthony, M.L.S. ’73，QUADAngels, Fall 2011, http://www.uri.edu/quadangles/class-acts-profiles/carolyn-anthony-m-l-s-73/