How NOT to Handle Bad Press

This post appeared on the Facebook page for the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library today. Take a minute to read through it.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151169164137976&set=a.380087232975.161981.5530982975&type=1

It’s in response to this article:

Stolen Wallet Leads to Major Library Fines from Kansas First News

All I can say is – Shame on you, TSCPL!
Continue reading “How NOT to Handle Bad Press”

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JCLC 2012, KCPL & Library Marketing

Last night, the Kansas City Public Library hosted the opening reception for the Second National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. I was honored to be a part of such a gathering! More than just an opportunity to show off our gorgeous Central Branch, it was a wonderful chance to mix and mingle with librarians from all over the country. I loved engaging so many people in passionate conversation about libraries!

Over the course of the evening, I noticed that there was one question that got asked by everyone I spoke to:

“Where did you get the money for all this?”

  • Our Central Branch building is a retrofitted bank. How were we able to get the building and convert it the way we did?
  • Where do we get the money to present 20-30 free-to-attend public events each month – ranging from scholarly presentations, to art and artifact exhibits, to movie screenings?
  • How can we afford to keep two full-time professional graphic designers on staff?
  • Where do we get the funding to maintain our dedicated business information center?
  • Etc.

Funding questions became the ongoing theme of my evening.
Continue reading “JCLC 2012, KCPL & Library Marketing”

Hey Authors! Where’s the Library Love When it Comes to Ebooks?

Every time news breaks about a library getting its budget slashed, or a system under threat of being shut down, we see authors from all over the world eager to publicly proclaim their love of libraries. On blogs, on social media, in articles and print, they speak of the irreducible importance of libraries in their careers, their lives, and their communities. They argue passionately for the societal value of the free access to information that only libraries provide.

Such declarations of library love from our favorite authors are not only incredibly heart-warming – they’re essential in our efforts to maintain library service and support in our communities.

In the current struggle between libraries and publishers over ebook lending, I’ve often wondered what would happen if all these authors were to jump into the debate with the same level of library love they show when our budgets are threatened.
Continue reading “Hey Authors! Where’s the Library Love When it Comes to Ebooks?”

Education & the Importance of Open Discussion

I want to share this article. Given the irreducible importance of the role that libraries play in education and the promotion of open discussion in our society, I think the points elucidated here apply to us, as well.

Charles Negy, Professor, Says Students Showed ‘Religious Arrogance And Bigotry’ In A Letter Later Posted On Reddit (The Huffington Post, posted online on August 16, 2012)

While I may not be entirely comfortable with the professor’s focus on Christians and intolerance (I know many, many Christians who despise intolerance and close-mindedness; likewise, I know many close-minded and intolerant people from other religions) I deeply appreciate what he has to say about the absolute importance of open debate and critical thought.
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Public Libraries as Place – or, Who Inherits the Legacy of Borders?

The Carnegie Corporation recently published the following article:

Today’s Public Libraries: Public Places of Excellence, Education and Innovation

Personally, I think this is the best summation of the value of public libraries I’ve read. I especially appreciate that the author talks about the importance of place in our culture.

Of course, whenever anyone talks about place in conjunction with books & media, it makes me miss Borders. For almost two decades, they managed to be the place for people to hang out and read in most urban areas in this country.

When Borders closed its doors last year, I wrote the following:
Continue reading “Public Libraries as Place – or, Who Inherits the Legacy of Borders?”

Welcome to my blog!

After a little over a year working in a public library, I find that I have stuff to say. So I’m going to use this space to say it!

Not all my posts will be strictly library-related. I believe that libraries are so deeply embedded in our lives and our communities that a strict separation of my library ideas and my personal thoughts & beliefs presents a false separation. Being a librarian isn’t just what I do for a living – being a librarian is who I am.

So, here goes! My personal experiment in blogging commences! Stay tuned, and let me know what you think!