STRATEGIC PLANNING @Your Library
Thanks to the many people from Tuxedo, Mamakating and Munro, NY,
who contributed their time, energies and open minds
to the success of the planning sessions.
And to the 'groundbreakers' at Grahamsville, NY. and all the wonderful volunteers at all libraries everywhere.
We had fun!
PLAN22 are authors of"Making the Case for
Your Library Building Project - Library Development Guide
Sign-It Signs - Need a Fantastic SIGN for your Library? We have known the brilliant designers at Sign-It Signs in Cornwall, Ontario for over twenty years. If you need the perfect sign to meet your library's requirements - contact them, they will help you achieve your dream of the 'perfect sign'.
Since arriving here in these 'United' States of America nearly thirteen years ago, we have been astounded and frankly, gobsmacked by seemingly well educated people who tell us that Canada is a socialist country because we all support health care (with taxes) Now please note well that at the same time, these same folk don't seem to understand that services called: Police, Fire and Library are paid with...wait for it ... taxes!
We have since become inured to this particular American brainfreeze issue; we can't educate a whole country. We just do our thing and try to spread the news that libraries are good for democracy. And we explain what taxes do with examples like this one: that when Katrina destroyed a whole portion of a state that was uninsured because the insurance companies (calculatedly and intelligently) stopped insuring properties in such a high risk area, it was the U.S. Government (i.e. taxes) that paid for FEMA payments and restoration and grants to states.
All this to say...once, there was no way to pool our efforts and when the problems became too large in scale or too far away, we accepted and used taxes to help ourselves in ways that today we take for granted.
I'm talking libraries here of course, but the same applies to myriad social and infrastructure supports that help get us through our sunfilled, free days or our darkest hours.
This article touches on this issue and reminds us of the history we may have forgotten about our most cherished civic institutions.
"...Things we utterly take for granted today -- things that the left, right
and center agree on -- were only achieved through long hard political
battles, always lasting decades, sometimes for more than a century. I’m
talking about really basic stuff, like public water and sewers,
policing, public education, public roads and public libraries, to
mention just a few."
attribution, link to http://www.governing.com/columns/eco-engines/col-public-services-once-private.html
It is a common story. In the long run, it is not a positive tale and unfortunately for the children of this country it is one that is played out with regularity.
Here's the story line; tiny, miserably funded, inadequately supported and ill provisioned local library goes for a funding vote. Short sighted community (I use the term loosely) votes down a budget to bring the library up to a standard that allows it's staff to do their jobs.
Here's the twist. Pathos in the wings...library supporters do a video, put it on the web...presto! DONATIONS ROLE IN....FROM PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
We in the U.S. have turned upside down and inside out our priorities, our sense of responsibility to our society and even lost the ability to discern a pathetic situation when we see it with our own eyes.
This is not a happy story. It is a pathetic story. Even though the state was ready to fund 60% of this project, less than half of the citizens who did vote knew what a library is for and what a really good one can do for a small community.
I am not made jubilant by this report. I am profoundly saddened by it. It is not the first one I have heard and it won't be the last. America you are in danger of total and irreversible collapse. You have lost your ability to stand up and support your own democracy - at your peril.
Story about the M.N. Spear Memorial Library, Shutesbury, MA. reported by: Zak Stone in www.good.is
We watch and cringe as some libraries loose ground with their communities. Funding votes are lost and users are crammed into out of date, overcrowded little libraries.
Overworked and discouraged librarians are missing the chance to get out into their communities to build up their position and BE SEEN as an 'outstanding contributor' and 'valuable asset' in their community.
This topic is universal within the library community and becoming larger and more urgent as each day passes and technology plows on, with our without libraries. Here are two related articles from Library Journal.
ALA and every associated organisation should adopt the rights to this Oscar nominated animated short and have it up on their website. It is that good.
This website will only be open for a limited time. If you ever wanted to show people how important are words and the spirit of the book - this is the way to do it. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
In fact we have at least one thing in common with the Canadian librarian who coined this phrase. We too are nearly driven wild when we see library funding cut and communities who will not support the library.
The catch phrase that we use and one that we like to think hits legislators and the public with a certain effectiveness is:
Libraries will get you through
Times of No Money
No Money will get you through
Times with No Libraries
You are free to quote to anyone within hearing distance!
Special thank you to:
Marilyn McIntosh, the Executive Director at Monroe Free Library in Monroe, New York and her intrepid, stalwart and intelligent staff.
ProQuest has just published a Public Library Toolkit.
There are easy to edit .pdf files for your library to use. You will also find sample Tweets!
You can "access...complimentary bookmarks, customizable posters and fliers, digital commercials, and other tools designed to help you promote your public library’s on-line resources" here on the ProQuest site.
Here are some examples of posters and book marks designed to get your library users' attention and promote your library...
Librarians have always known how to work together collectively to deliver high quality service to the maximum number of people for the least amount of money. Library Systems help librarians achieve those lofty goals every day, 24/7.
Library Systems in New York, and in other states and provinces are the support system to librarians and library users. People who work for a Library System often do so in the background to provide all manner of services from inter library loans; cataloging and automated on line catalogs; trustee training and help with grant applications and processing funds from state aid. Library systems help our librarians provide the services to a public who expects excellence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on line and in the library.
This video was taken 29 November 2011 in Albany, NY. Play time is 25m 45sec.
It is an excerpt from a Public Hearing: Funding Public Libraries in New York Stateunder the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries & Education Technology, Chair, Assemblyman, Bob Reilly.
The speakers are, in order of appearance: Robert Hubsher, Executive Director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), Middletown, NY RCLS Facts ; Marilyn McIntosh, Director/Librarian, Monroe Free Library, Monroe, NY MONROE and James Mahoney, Director/Librarian, Nyack Library, Nyack, NY The Nyack Library| Welcome .
Nothing we don't already know but important to share with those who don't appreciate the depth of commitment shown every day by librarians and their boards.
An overview of libraries reveals that some library systems are hanging on to a thread for their survival while others are thriving. The overall trend, however, is one of increased usage and circulation of materials, both electronic and traditional, coupled with decreased funding.
I have had the pleasure of producing the 'Geek Your Library' posters for the Wallkill Public Library.Wallkill Public Library Home PageIt's been a blast, maily because the Chief Librarian, Lou Carolan is herself a 'Force for Librarianship'!
Here are the posters:
I love doing these...my volunteer effort for my community, except everywhere is my community!
And so the spiral of world wide discussions about libraries and their futures continues! gives us hope and stimulates the brain. Watch this lovely interview: cycling unconference out of IFLA
We are particularly interested in the space planning and architectural programming aspect of how the physicall environment provided in new libraries and renovations meet the needs of communities that want their service needs met with spaces that serve as a community Commons.
"The judge said it perfectly: libraries are an inherent public good," said Kevin Verbesey director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.
"This decision recognizes that libraries are not cultural amenities. They are educational institutions and are an essential public service," said Michael Borges, the executive director of the New York Library Association (NYLA).
It's no secret. Demand for library services has risen steadily these past two years as people struggle to stay afloat through this ' economic downturn ' - a polite way to reference this International Recession. Slow Economy Fuels Surge in Library Use
Perversely, the local, state, provincial and federal governments have continued to decresase funding to libraries and systems steadily and mercilessly
Libraries face rising costs:
increasing wages and benefitsincreasing demand for print and AV materials
increasing demand for digital resources
the high cost of telecommunications and need for higher bandwidth