During my travels as president-elect, I often spoke about the challenges and opportunities of becoming 21st-century libraries that incorporate new formats, technologies, and ways of learning. By transforming libraries for this new era, we are leaders in a rapidly changing and increasingly global economy that depends on people getting the right information, at the right … Continue reading Advancing Advocacy
Almost two months ago, students at the Templeton Elementary School in Bloomington, Indiana, performed a play that they and their parents had written, The Case of the Missing Librarian, as an expression of the loss they felt over their beloved librarian, Laura Hall, being reassigned to a classroom at the end of the school year. … Continue reading Take a Bow, Monroe County, Indiana
“What makes this initiative different from previous advocacy initiatives is that it engages and empowers frontline library staff to work on advocacy at a different level than how library administrators, trustees, friends, and grassroots users operate,” says Alire. “The traditional focus has been on how to interact with elected officials and decision makers. Frontline advocacy … Continue reading Frontline Advocacy Is Everybody’s Job
Library publications and blogs are filled with two types of articles these days: horror stories and fantasies. First, the horror stories. These are the news reports of budget cuts, most of which are in fact quite horrible. Academic Library X is getting its budget cut by 30%; School District Y is firing all of its … Continue reading Winning the Budget Wars
American Libraries has run a number of articles on how to manage your way through the economic crisis that has now trickled down to libraries big-time. Some of our profession's best managers and leaders have produced a number of significant articles that could help us all get through these tough times. They are all available … Continue reading Coping with the Economy
Library workers and supporters nationwide are turning to social media to spread the word about proposed funding cuts and recruit advocates. Despite what looks to be a very bleak FY2011, social media blitzes to stave off cuts for the current fiscal year may have laid some groundwork toward influencing budgetmakers. In March, the Charlotte (N.C.) … Continue reading Will Social Media Activism Rescue Besieged Libraries?
When you think of Twitter, you might think of Oprah. You might think of Ashton Kutcher. But do you think of Roy Tennant, Jessamyn West, and ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries? While social networks are useful for keeping up with celebrities, friends, and family, they’re also valuable professional networking tools that can connect … Continue reading Dipping into the Stream
For millions of American schoolchildren, National Library Week isn't quite the celebration that librarians want it to be. That's because the viability of properly staffed school libraries, whose direct impact on increased academic success has been documented ad nauseum for decades, is under attack like never before. In a particularly poignant NLW celebration, students at … Continue reading Maybe the Play’s the Thing
"Education is telling the truth to students," said author and contributing editor to National Public Radio's This American Life Sarah Vowell at the closing of the Public Library Association conference in Portland today. "You have the goods," she added. "You have the places where that person can find that truth." Vowell was responding to a … Continue reading Author Sarah Vowell Closes Public Librarians Conference in Portland
"The demand is insatiable," said Jill Nishi of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this morning at the Public Library Association conference in Portland, Oregon, as she announced the release of a new and far-reaching study of public library use in the United States. "Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access … Continue reading Public Libraries Gain New Ammunition from Gates/IMLS Usage Study
The state of fiscal emergency in many libraries, school districts, and academic campuses has lent credence to recent media reports that officials of the Los Angeles Unified School District have approved the dismissal of every certificated teacher-librarian systemwide. According to California School Librarians Association President Rosemarie Bernier, however, the truth is far less dire. Bernier … Continue reading Pink Slips – and Rumors – Fly in L.A.
Remember the old saying assuring us that even fools come in out of the rain? My new corollary is: Even naysayers need shelter from the storm—especially when the naysayers don't realize it. There's one particular naysayer I have in mind: Tommy Wayne Kramer, columnist for the Ukiah (Calif.) Daily Journal. Yesterday, I found myself combing … Continue reading Ridiculous, Meet Sublime