Below, find notes, updates, and handouts from the DLC meeting that took place on March 18 and 19th at the Holiday Inn in Grantville.
R. David Lankes, Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, gave a live presentation on New Librarianship.
See more of what he has done online: Use Online Presentations
· In the field of content (music, books, journals, movies, etc), there is a shift from ownership to rental: You own nothing except the right to use it.
· Libraries have biases!
· What is your library’s mission? What is your mission? Does it answer why?
· “The mission of librarians is to improve society (through facilitating knowledge creation in our communities)”
· What is your favorite book and WHY? It is usually what you learned that helps you be a better you is usually the reason.
· Librarians are often obsessed with process…we rarely ask WHY. Ask why and why not?
· To question something is to determine its value and its strength. It is not to criticize.
· Why get more stuff if you have less staff to make it useful?
· Artifacts (like contracts) are not the result of the conversation. Stop worrying about archiving old conversations and start worrying about starting the new conversations.
· A roomful of books is not a library. An empty closet with a librarian could be called a librarian.
· Route of things/artifacts is not the way to always go.
· What should we change about our ILS? Should libraries be the host for everything else?
· How can you share your library shelves with your community?
· Who loves to “read”? Most people love to learn, imagine, escape, enjoy. It is not the act of reading that people love.
· Librarians have an obligation to tell the community: “[this] is what you need to know.”
· “Take away my people, but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.” Carnegie
· Don’t rally on the steps with librarians because that looks like self-preservation. The people need to speak.
· Ask users: What problem are you trying to solve when they come to the library? That should answer the question of what resources are most valuable.
Libraries are not “natural”. There’s no theory. We, as people, built libraries—we are powerful.
Librarians should be radical change agents.
Policy should be rare, vague, and only what you need to apply.
David Lankes suggests that the best days of librarianship are ahead of us since libraries are positioned to lead in knowledge trends. Libraries are:
o Focused on knowledge and conversation
o Dedicated to social action, leadership, and innovation
o Dedicated to serving the people
Lankes shared two very unusual examples of lending. A library employee’s dog was “bark coded” and loaned! At another library, sections of a garden were bar coded and loaned to library users for seasonal use.
Lankes recommends that we consider the collection, the community, the library facility in our planning and “thought experiments”. He views public librarians as being intellectually honest and neutral, but not unbiased.
What is the mission of the library and libraries? He reminds us that people do things, not the library. The mission of librarians is to improve Society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. Those who recommend greater collection size but fewer staff fail to recognize that staff will be far less useful to them as a result of such change.
Lankes compared the customer’s experience at the traditional tall reference desk to the experience of meeting the Wizard of Oz.
Take away the materials, the facades, and we are still libraries, the blood of the community. A cut in libraries is a slash in the community. People need to show scars from budget cuts. The public needs to stand up and defend us, and we need to serve them well.
We need to be “of the community” instead of “for the community”, and we need to ask what problems people are trying to solve, not what they want. The next step is to map out successes.
Make two assessments:
* Where will you have the greatest impact?
* Where do you need to make an impact? How will you be part of that conversation?
Three panelists participated in Lankes’ presentation: Trish Calvani, Mary Frances Cooper, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Dan Parker, Oil City DLC,
-Trish emphasized the importance of getting out, seeing what’s important in the community, and looking ahead.
-Mary Frances shared that a library board thought elected officials would be seen as the enemy when cuts were made to the library. Eventually that board received funds needed to keep the library open for one year.
-Dan commented that poor communications are part of poorly performing libraries, and that we need to respond to pressure from staff and our community for innovation.
Lankes commented that virtually every component of a public library is a service. We give power to our communities through what we do. Question something to make sure it is good. He recommends that “policies be rare, vague, and employed only where needed.”
If you seek to serve everyone you end up serving no one.
Lankes gave an example of a central library frequented by the homeless who were destroying the bathrooms. The librarians hired the homeless to work as bathroom attendants and in this way resolved much of the problem that existed.
His final recommendation: You must prioritize services with communities. Librarians can be the mediators.
A Regionalized Approach to Library Services, presented by M Clare Zales, Commissioner for Libraries.
Here’s the handout: Regions PowerPoint
Basics: Commonwealth Libraries is redrawing the Pennsylvania Library Map based on the need to partner in library development across the state. We need to start thinking about how to use district funds differently.
Please contact me with any input, questions or comments after you have reviewed Clare’s handout related to this new regionalization. Feedback on regional planning will be included at the September 2010 DLC/System meeting.
Important note: Anne Kruger will no longer be our district’s advisor. We now have a team of advisors with Bonnie Young, Connie Cardillo, and BJ Urling as the primary contacts to work with our region, which includes the district centers of York (York and Adams), Lancaster, Lebanon, Chambersburg (Franklin, Fulton), and Capital Area (Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry.)
LSTA focus groups took place as a part of the LSTA funding process for the state and IMLS to understand what makes grants most effective.
A discussion of a possible statewide CMS (content management system) for library websites took place. Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress were discussed as options for a platform to make website creation easier and possibly more to a standard. Stay tuned for where ideas on this project go. The discussions were exciting for libraries who aren’t yet on an advanced CMS.
At the District Consultant’s Session:
Anne Kruger, Youth Services Advisor, announced that 9/1/10 is the deadline for statistics for the One Book, Every Young Child Trunk usage. The trunks were received on Friday, March 19, at the DLC meeting and will be available to libraries soon.
Two trunks are provided for our district. CCLS gets one. DCLS processes the other and will soon release instructions for its reservation through June Weaver at ESA-ill.
Diana Megdad, Bureau of Library Development, recommends that you join WebJunction if you have not already done so!
Sign up at webjunction.org
Pennsylvania has its own site:
* Continuing education and sharing of information in a community is the primary benefit.
* Many courses cost only $5.00. Some are free.
* Fund raising resources are listed.
* ACCESS PA training is offered at no charge.
* Library news is welcome. Consider Web Junction the “communications place.”
* Library Spotlight for special recognition
Mary Maguire, Montgomery County, Norristown Public Library, shared POWER Library news. Unfortunately some libraries purchased databases before realizing they would be part of the “new” POWER Library. She advises that libraries be patient and wait to see what is funded in the next state budget. One consideration is to get EBSCOhost on a regional basis.
Eileen Kocher, State Aid and Statistics, is working on an “accounting for dummies” manual that’s based on the kinds of questions arriving from libraries. She suggested that contracting on a regional basis for audits could save money. For cost savings, libraries also might go to a public accountant (PA) for audits instead of a CPA.
Eileen stated that a library can withhold providing special requests (holds and ILLs) for library materials from people outside the library’s service area. A vigorous discussion on this topic took place.
For cost savings it’s recommended that any system or district collaborate with others and plan to purchase OverDrive as a larger group and not as an individual system/district. OverDrive is open to this. Their customer service and tech support are superior to that of NetLibrary (which was just bought by EBSCO from OCLC.) There is discussion that a statewide OverDrive group could help us to reduce costs and increase service.
State-wide Integrated Library System (ILS) Task Force presented by Susan Pannebaker, Director, Bureau of Library Development, and Lisa Rives Collens, Schlow Centre Region Library.
Here are the handouts from that presentation:
Briefly, the ILS Task Force launched its work 5 months ago. The goals include statewide resource sharing and delivery. This is about the customer. Please see the handout for important details.
John Houser shared information on Evergreen, the open source software that will be at the heart of the state-wide ILS we are striving for. Almost the entire state of Georgia uses Evergreen for its ILS. Currently Houser and associates are working with a pilot for the new system. A statewide ILS should allow for:
* Greater functionality
* Ability to customize the interface
We will share customers and bibliographic records statewide when this ILS is in place. Libraries will not be able to see data from other libraries unless needed. Evergreen will allow:
* Emailing a citation
* Creating private or public lists and tagging materials
* Adding comments to an individual’s record
* Including reviews
Holds will be managed by Evergreen. Reports are created centrally and made available to libraries. We don’t yet have a cost model that can help recognize potential cost savings for state-wide Evergreen usage. Acquisitions are currently not part of the Evergreen model under consideration.
Clare Zales reported that a good portion of PA will be involved with Evergreen in 4 years. Houser predicts that current Millenium Libraries will be offered to make the switch this fall.
PaLA Next Generation Progress Report,
presented by Jonelle Darr, Director of the Cumberland County Library System.
Here’s the handout: LiteraciesfromPALA
The vision document has been approved and the task force is developing funding options. Meetings were held with 4 gubernatorial candidates.
State Budget Advocacy
Glenn Miller provided a state budget update. Pennsylvania’s 8.9% unemployment rate for February 2010 was the highest since the 1980’s. Glenn’s message: “Libraries are seeing the very people who need us the most. Don’t close us out. Help us restore more access to libraries for our constituents.”
Glen highly recommends person-to-person communication in sharing these messages.
If you have further questions about the DLC meeting happenings, or input to share, please comment or start a conversation.