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Below is a link to an article about how one Florida public library joined in with their city’s economic development initiatives by collaborating and partnering with the organizations that were stakeholders in the development. Some of the major points that I picked up on were: 1) The fact that it was an ongoing, sustained effort over time; 2) that small projects and small victories in this effort lead to greater successes later on (Nothing succeeds like success!); and, 3) the library re-created itself along the way to meet the community’s needs.
Here is the link to the article. I look forward to reading your reactions to it!
Thanks, Robin. I saw early on that one of the best ways to get support from the local officials is to bring them in to the library, especially during a children’s program. I remember watching this technique at the Martin County Library a number of years ago. Disinterested minds and distracted hearts changed rapidly when observing the children benefit from the library’s services.March 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm CST in reply to: Outsourcing the Management of Library Operations (AKA Privatization) #3507
Below are some resources that could help in composing a letter about this issue:
This publication provides ‘talking points’ that could go into a letter to City/County governments.
“Keeping Public Libraries Public — A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries” American Library Association (2011)
The link below goes to a PDF file from a discussion at a government meeting in Kern County, CA. The PDF file contains letters from both pro and con side of the discussion. It is 150 pages long, but many points for or against the idea can be gleaned from this collection, browse through the ‘con’ letters: Kern County, California letters
Have a look at this: Privatization / Outsourcing Report from Dartmouth Public Libraries.
This also contains points for a government entity to consider before outsourcing library operations. Those points could go into a letter too.
Another document for source material is available from:
Privatization of Public Library Management in the United States (by: Julie Rand)
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Charles Mayberry.
Glad to hear that you used PLAN’s new Vendor Discount service and saved money! I hope the word gets out to all Panhandle libraries about the availability of the service. For those that have not yet heard about it, see PLAN’s web site at the following link:
The trends cited in a recent Library Journal article are a bit disconcerting for libraries. My thinking has been turning towards the idea that libraries need to speak the language of ‘community development’ when advocating at all levels. As the economy improves (we hope), developing and redeveloping the nation’s cities and towns is becoming a priority. We should work to position libraries as ‘community catalysts’ and ‘anchor institutions.’ In other words, speak the language of community development to our politicians at all levels, and to those financing and developing communities.
I cannot help but think of several communities I know of in Florida that have been trying with limited success to revitalize their old downtown or historic area. This is frequently done by attempting to create an artist community using the old buildings already there. Why not put the main library there, with the library services supporting the arts (stage/auditorium, maker spaces, etc.), along with its core functions? The library would bring in one of the most important component of revitalization – foot traffic.
Consistent with the above is that we need to plug libraries into the ‘billion dollars for infrastructure improvement’ that is a stated objective of the new administration in Washington. Working against this is the usual narrow focus of governments at all levels that recognizes ‘infrastructure’ as highways, bridges, ports, and airports. Broadband access, badly needed in our rural counties, should also be included. We should argue and demonstrate that libraries play an important role as infrastructure, similar to hospitals, schools, parks, and other non-profit institutions. The synergy that could be established between the library and those other institutions will benefit all concerned and better position libraries to serve their communities.
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Charles Mayberry.
PLAN’s Technology Day conference is scheduled for March 10th at FSU’s Panama City Campus.
See the full description and register here.
I read an article today that was encouraging because it appears on a site dedicated to the ‘local officials’ side of the equation. The article is entitled “Where Public Libraries Can Support Community Goals.” It is on the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) website (www.icma.org). Here is the opening paragraph:
“Public libraries can play an important role in advancing such community priorities as broadband access, digital literacy, early childhood education, primary-secondary school attainment, and online/virtual learning, according to a recent ICMA survey of local government leaders.”
Be sure to click on the link in the article to the recent ICMA survey. This goes to the survey itself which augments the Aspen Institute’s study from 2014.
While I am, indeed, encouraged by this article and the ICMA survey, I think the benefits of libraries to their communities are greater than the ones cited. I believe that libraries are community assets that should be elevated in discussions of community planning and development on par with discussions of anchor institutions and anchor businesses. Along with providing a lot foot traffic in an area needing renewal or undergoing development, the well-placed library also enriches the community with its many services and spaces. Unlike the shops and stores in the business district or the cultural/historical district, everything in the library is free of charge.
Congratulations on the publication of your new book! I would love to see a copy the next time I come there for a visit.
As a former director of a special library, I think it is OK for me to comment here. It may interest everyone, if you don’t know already, that PLAN has eight special library members. You can view a list of these, with links, on PLAN’s Members webpage.
I hope this particular forum is a big help for communication with other special libraries and, librarians from all types of libraries. Many of the issues we face are not library type-specific and can be addressed in the other forums. However, a forum dedicated to special librarians is highly appropriate too.
Thanks for the reminder about leadership, Cay. The ‘ten ways’ from that article are all really good areas for self-examination when contemplating how to improve as a leader during the new year. Communication, honesty, consistency, fairness, and taking responsibility for one’s mistakes are all essential to being respected as a leader. One of my former ‘bosses’ summarized his philosophy of leadership in the work place as, “Make sure the praise flows downward and the blame flows upwards.” I have always considered that a pretty good statement about the essence of leading people in the workplace.
November 28, 2016 at 1:44 pm CST in reply to: Welcome to the Marketing and Public Relations Forum #3266
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by Charles Mayberry.
Thanks for starting this Topic in the forum. This forum is a much-needed one, I think, that will benefit any library staff that is involved in marketing their library services.
Kimberly, Good question. There is some discussion of this on the web, but I am not sure there is a consensus on the definitions. Here are two articles that discuss the concepts (and some related concepts):
Maybe you can coe up with clear distinctions between the two and post them back here to the Forum? I would like to know the essential difference between the two myself.
Also, thank you for being one of the first to use PLAN’s ‘Community Forum’ service. Please ask your collegues to check them out and begin using them. I hope that soon we will have a lot of library staff using the forums and we can build up a large supply of ready answers to questions like yours.