Thursday, May 31, 2007
It was amazing to help make this major effort grow out of our community read. I've posted enough about this before (the author visit, more about the author visit, the poverty simulation done by CAP Services at the library) that I don't want to recap it all here. It's encouraging that our collaboration received this recognition -- thanks to Nicole Harrison & the whole CAP Services gang for their ongoing efforts.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Municipal libraries fall victim to municipal budget woes across the state because flat revenues and rising health care and energy costs force cities and towns to choose between asking voters to raise taxes or cutting services like public libraries.In this respect, Massachusetts is not so different from Wisconsin nor (your state's name here). The Stoneham Sun reports:
...in Northbridge the public library has lost hours of operation, members of its staff, and its affiliation with the state public library system: no children’s story time, no summer reading program, no internet access, and no way to borrow books from other public libraries. The Saugus Public Library will close its doors this week. The building will be shuttered by the end of June. Medway’s library will suffer the same fate as Northbridge...Ah, well, too bad for them. But as that great philosopher, Frank Zappa, taught us:
Except, of course, it can happen here. All your well-earned politesse and good management can't stop it, but maybe we can soften the blow. How? I'm still trying to learn, but can think of a few ways:
It can't happen hereWho could imagine...
It can't happen here
I'm telling you, my dear
That it can't happen here...
It can't happen here
It can't happen here
Everybody's safe and it can't happen here
- Make sure our services are well-aligned to the needs of the community we serve and that the community knows it. That means we keep dancing on the "give em what they want" vs. "give what they need" boundary line. Listen. Talk. Be valuable and seen as valuable.
- Local communities should be invested in the library that they will ultimately need to support. Being overly reliant on state funds or other outside funding -- that could dry up due to forces beyond control -- leave locals holding a big bag.
- Nevertheless we need to cultivate multiple revenue streams -- diversify our funding & support. We need local support, but we also need endowment funds, friends groups, volunteers, equitable reimbursements for service provided outside our funding area, and as many available grants as reasonably relevant.
- And we can't forget to keep working with our professional associations at the regional & state level, to make sure states don't clobber municipalities in general and local libraries in particular, and to sustain library collaborations. We need to energizie trustees & friends to be involved as well.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Illinois Library Association (ILA) and MySpace.com have partnered to develop a series of Internet Safety Bookmarks These bookmarks are designed as a series that will help educate youth and parents to make safe and informed decisions online. Each bookmark is aimed at a specific audience including kids, teens, and parents.
The three Internet Safety bookmarks are:
Dealing with Cyberbullies: Tips for Kids
Safe Blogging: Tips for Teens
Social Networking: Tips for Parents
The bookmark files are available on the ILA website for libraries to download and print locally.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It's great how changes in webpages can be sent out as feeds to aggregators. Here's some feeds from our local community -- library and non-library -- in my feed list over at Bloglines:
General local interest
- Jeff Lindsay's Appleton Blog - with links to still more local blogs
- Fox Politics - from local political activist Jo Egelhoff (one of my "morning coffee" reads)
- (0)(0)Appleton Public Library Policies ( (0) (0)
- InfoSoup Development Blog (0)(0 (0)(0)(0) (0)
- APL Wiki (0) (0)
- New on the APL Intranet
- (0) (0)Hopeful Travellers - personal blog (0)(0 (0) (0)
- my Flickr photos (0) (0)
- the New Cybrary - this library blog
- Technorama - (and the associated podcast) from guru Chuck Tomasi
- The Appleton Post-Crescent Breaking News (0) (0)
- The Appleton Post-Crescent Latest Headlines (0) (0)
- Odds and Ends worth a listen (podcast) (0) (0)
- Columns by Dan Flannery Podcast (podcast) (0) (0)
- Weekend Preview Podcast (podcast)
- Appleton (FVUUF) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Fox Valley WI (podcast)
I've been working continuously full-time since 1975, here since 1978, and as Director since 1996. As a career winds down, there are challenges:
- Stay fresh
- Don't burn out
- Don't coast
- Think long range
- Think big picture
- Stay positive
- Stay involved in local and professional community
- Focus on organizational goals
I'm eligible for Social Security in 1,105 days. But who's counting? I've got a lot to learn and a lot to do!
- Tasha Saecker's excellent Library Director 2.0 essay, which emphasizes some of the same concepts.
- Recommendations from our staff planning task force, which in looking at issues affecting our library, did not recommend that we take up or abandon any services, but that we should work harder organizationally to exhibit some of these habits. They had a lot of other good and specific recommendations, but these traits encapsulate many grass-roots concerns.
- "Radical transparency", as in the cover story in the March issue of Wired, is surely the trait/habit/virtue of openness. This good article in the Long Tail blog covers some of the same ground.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
This year, I've been one of several folks blogging the conference over on the WLA Blog, and the collective posts provide a partial snapshot by highlighting some of the sessions. Other resources, including presenter PowerPoints and bibliographies, are available on the Post-Conference Resources page.