107 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2017
    1. great libraries come from great librarians.

      It’s all about people.

    2. A bad library will use the building as an excuse. The case will be made that the public/students/professionals will flock to the library with better parking or a bigger set of book stacks. And that is true. For weeks after a new building opens it will be filled with the curious. However, it is ultimately the services, professionals, and co-ownership that will bring people back. You build a new library when the old one is too small to accommodate the community, not when it is too small to accommodate the stuff.

      To be clear – buildings need to be a safe and welcoming environment, but that alone is insufficient for use and impact.

    3. Let me be very clear. What makes a library bad is not its collections. Bad libraries can have huge collections or small ones. Great libraries can also have large or small (or no) collections.

      Reinforce that this not saying a collection is bad or useless or not important, just of secondary importance.

    4. “Pizza, pizza, pizza, book!”

      Reverting back to the value of the work we do can only be seen in circulation is a bad habit. And it is a habit, often done reflexively. We need to negotiate new methods of assessment around community impact and not stuff.

    5. You need to spread the word that your library is alive and well and is more than what folks expect.

      Our strongest advocacy comes from others.

    6. There is a saying that you shouldn’t muster the troops without giving them marching orders.

      It’s data, narratives, and calls to action!

    7. As a community member you must, in the words of Saint Paul, “test everything; retain what is good.”

      Librarians have to get used to asking and being asked why they do everything.

    1. We cannot be unbiased, but we can be intellectually honest.

      It is very hard to argue having a positive valuable effect in a community and being unbiased.

    2. So what is a librarian if not a degree, if not a mission statement in isolation, and if not a set of functions? I would argue that a librarian is the intersection of three things: the mission, the means of facilitation, and the values librarians bring to a community. We’ve already covered the first two (approach to mission and facilitation), but what about values?

      Note that this defines a librarian not by the place they work.

    3. This is exactly the mission of libraries. Teaming with allied missions in journalism and publishing and teaching and health care expands the impact of libraries and the other fields.

      Be a bridge.

    4. And what is the response to these so-called threats? Did librarians build a new Google, or their own eBook platform? No, instead they have adopted Google and Amazon because it turns out these tools work. Never mind that Google is the largest advertising agency in the world, and Amazon is now able to mine your reading history. If librarians and the communities that support them define the world through functional eyes of threats and competition, librarians do not engage new players as partners, nor do they effectively work to instill their values within their services. Too many librarians see what works, and use that tool nearly ignorant of the cost to themselves and those they serve.

      We need to acknowledge our limitations and faults. Too rosy of a picture that ignores past experiences will be dismissed.

    5. More and more, information professions are wrestling with an ever more connected society where information is readily available. More professions are coming to understand the importance of social interactions and the complexities of community. Because of that, many professions have found themselves in increasingly close and sometimes disconcerting proximity to other professions.

      SO here is our next trick. We need to tie librarians to the familiar and around the learning sphere – but we also need librarians to be special and taking a unique important position in a community.

    6. A community should be a better place because it contains a library. Better means change—from how it is to something better. The library and librarians should add value to the community. If you add something like value, you change something. So bottom line, a librarian should help guide a community through a continuous change process. Feel free to revisit the whole jackbooted librarians discussion in the “Improve Society” chapter—we know that this change is not solely a matter of the librarian enacting a vision of change. It is also the librarian working with the community, facilitating the change.

      Not enough to have nice librarians and nice buildings – librarians should challenge and provoke…be active.

    7. Being able to unlock walled gardens and a myriad of sources and then weave information into a comprehensive and comprehendible whole is one of the most valuable skills in a knowledge economy. That said, part of that work is to make the result easy to understand and use, not to make the community members into little librarians. You should expect your librarian to speak your language, and the librarian should expect you to respect that doing so is valuable work.

      Pounding home to the question “you need a masters for that?”

    8. Now, it would be easy to read that and think it just applies to public libraries. However, as a member of academia I can tell you there are plenty of cultural divides in higher education. Talking to faculty, then students, then administration can be like using three different languages. Likewise, school librarians have to understand not only the differences between teachers and students, but math teachers, and music teachers, and English teachers.

      Reinforcing librarianship across library types.

    9. I have mentioned ideas like the prejudice library where libraries circulate more than just books and DVDs. There are public libraries that circulate fishing poles near rivers and libraries that circulate puppets. At the Fab Lab in Fayetteville they will be circulating cameras and book-making materials. In Brooklyn they have an on-demand printing press that will print out bound books written by the community. In Africa they are circulating ceremonial masks; at Onondaga Community College you can check out models of body parts and vivisected cats for anatomy classes. My point here is that you should expect librarians to build living collections that the community needs and guarantee the availability of these resources for the whole community.

      So now that we assume folks are bought into the view of librarianship as learning we can spice things up with a few more “extreme” examples.

    10. It is not the books that make these containers into libraries, however; it is the dedication to the community good and learning.

      Many librarians have a problematic relation with little free libraries. On one hand they support reading and a form of community engagement (albeit a passive one), but aren’t connected to library institutions or professionals.

    11. Too often, degreed librarians (and the faculty who teach them) get stuck in the reductionist paradigm. Too often, degreed librarians use this reductionist approach to dismiss or ignore innovation and good ideas that come from outside of their specialization. You should expect more.

      The ultimate result of this vision allows librarians to ignore comlex social issues. Poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, civic engagement is not my small part of the world – that is someone else’s job.

    12. The same way it has impacted your doctor.

      Not the professional analogies I use here: doctors, lawyers – high prestige professions.

    13. called reductionism.

      OK, where did this come from? It came from the frustration of public library board members that sought change (or at least understanding) and were blocked by librarians that resisted change by making librarianship more complex. Librarians and IT folks never say no, they simply throw acronyms at you until you give up.

    14. There are hundreds of librarians employed at publishers and database providers whose products are used throughout academia.

      One view of success for the future is fewer libraries, but more librarians. Would this be a good thing?

    15. they tend to shield communities from the workings of the library

      This is the dilemma of the service expert. We work to make service smooth and easy on the member, however, folks need to know how hard it is to get the necessary “credit” for support.

    16. The key to being a successful librarian by hire is a dedication to and support for continuous learning and training.

      This is the key to any good library by the way.

    17. This is not restricted to just rural public libraries either. The Librarians of Congress have included historians, scholars, authors, and even a journalist. In fact, for centuries the heads of the libraries in colleges and universities were professors and humanities scholars.

      With our current Librarian of Congress being a delightful exception.

    18. There are three basic ways to become a librarian: you are hired as one, you are educated as one, or you grow into being one. The first is the easiest and often least effective way. The second is the norm often mandated by law and probably the most effective way. The last is rare but can be incredibly powerful. Let us take these in turn and talk about the potential positives and pitfalls of each, plus a little of what we can expect from each as well.

      Once again this is aimed as much to librarians as the public. It is important to look at librarianship as a field rather than a degree. It allows us to make the tent bigger, and therefore add more voice to the cause.

    19. The fact is that libraries can’t do anything—they are buildings or rooms.

      We have to be careful not to let the support of the community fall to too abstract a concept. We have seen many places where libraries are kept open with volunteers, or as unmanned machines.

    1. The second effect has been on the librarians. Now the librarians can leave the building and facilitate knowledge

      The best advocacy for libraries and librarians is to get out of the buildings. Do your job in public, provide service at the point of need. Meet the partners on their turf.

    2. Libraries as Place

      This goes right up there with “no I don’t hate reading” in terms of taking on sacred cows.

    3. What do you love? What are you passionate about? Are you willing to teach/share it with the community?

      This simple set of questions can have a profound and positive effect. Try them with your staff and your community.

    4. However, the true collection of any library is not these tools, but the community itself.

      Community as collection is a concept as much for librarians as for the public. It bridges from the expected and comfortable to the progressive. Important skills in collection development are not marginalized in this community approach, they are essential and expanded.

    5. McDonald’s has realized that reflecting local culture

      Taking on Dewey’s concept that standardization and efficiency is the sure route to effectiveness.

    6. Public Library Incubators

      Public library example, but also bringing in business. These kind of incubator spaces tend to appeal to municipal officials.

    7. In 2001 Ellen Roche, a 24-year-old lab technician, entered into a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University’s Asthma and Allergy Center. The trial was investigating how the lungs responded to chemical irritants. Researchers had Roche inhale hexamethonium. Roche was the third volunteer to do so in the study. The first volunteer had developed a slight cough that lasted a week. The second volunteer had shown no adverse reactions. Roche developed a slight cough that got worse and worse. Five days after inhaling the chemical, Roche was admitted to intensive care. Less than a month later, she was dead.

      Our story is still here, just a bit later. Here we are really talking about embedded librarians.

    8. Reorganizing the Research Library

      The goal here is to show these concepts work across contexts and library type. We want people to be supporters of libraries in whatever context they operate.

    9. Let me give you some examples.

      Stories and examples adding to a “solidity” of simultaneously opening up the definition of library, and showing how important they are together.

    10. iPhone

      Call to something familiar. Also co-opting something that many people say will replace libraries, to now include as part of thinking about a library.

    11. community platform for knowledge creation

      The big purpose in this chapter is to give people something concrete to hold on to as we break traditional simple definitions of library. The problem is, when you say localities define libraries, then they have nothing in common?!

    12. This drive for standards, efficiencies, and mass production has had a profound effect on libraries and how they are perceived.

      Dewey’s lasting legacy was prioritizing efficiency over effectiveness. Getting through to folks that having a well-defined process/definition/system/mission does not trump the fact that you are trying to get something done.

    13. Melvil Dewey. If you haven’t heard the name, then you probably have heard of the Dewey Decimal system, the scheme for organizing books Dewey developed at the end of the 19th century. The system was based on Dewey’s conviction that standardization and uniformity in libraries would help them grow and prosper.

      How many times have you mentioned you’re a librarian and someone says “Dewey!”

    1. The same (equal) versus fair (equitable)

      This continues our “complexification” of librarianship for the reader. Ultimately we are trying to answer the question “you need a masters for that?”

    2. There is another necessary attribute of a community: they must share limited resources.

      It is easy to only talk about the positive and easy aspects of community and libraries. True ownership and buy in has to show complexity and depth.

    3. Is My Library that Grand?

      Back to advocating not just for your library, but librarianship in general. We are a big deal, and folks need to know that.

    4. Charles Duhigg is an investigative reporter for the New York Times and wrote a book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

      An attention getting story.

    5. Grand Challenges

      Here we are trying to get people to see their library and libraries in general as very big deals. We are raising the stakes for supporting an essential social institution, not just the place down the corner.

    6. Walled Gardens

      Here we need our communities know that what people use and consume is complex and comes with often invisible trade-offs. Ultimately this is building up library staff’s expertise.

    7. So what does this have to do with libraries and the conversation about improving society? There is a growing demand for eBooks from library members, and publishers are getting increasingly worried about how they can make money off of their titles. Imagine if you could go register your eBook reader with your local library and seamlessly download any title you wanted free of charge. Why would you ever buy another book? Instead of selling a bunch of copies of the books, publishers would sell one to your library and be done. So publishers are seeking to introduce “friction” into this process. That is, they want to make it easier to license it directly from the publisher than to get it from the library. And most publishers are refusing to license eBooks to libraries at all.

      Trying to show members what librarians have to wrestle with behind the scenes. This is ultimately about getting folks to value librarians and library staff, not just the stuff.

    8. You also must expect a library to do more than simply take a dream and make it happen. Great libraries help shape the vision itself. Notice I use the word “conversation” throughout this book. It is done intentionally, and when talking about how communities seek to improve themselves and the larger society. It is important to know why I use “conversation.”

      If I were to rewrite this section today I would include a new definition of “library:” a library is a mandated and facilitated space supported by the community, stewarded by librarians, and dedicated to knowledge creation. This is discussed in greater detail in the New Librarianship Field Guide.

    9. However, we must never forget that our communities have aspirations and dreams. Though the diversity of our communities can make it difficult to agree on a single vision, we know it is possible. The library can bring our neighbors and colleagues and students and members together in a civil, safe, and inspiring space to dream.

      This is as much for librarians as members. We need to be in the aspiration business, not remediation.

    10. Throughout this book, I talk about expecting more out of the library, but for a moment I need to talk about how libraries and librarians need to expect more out of you. Seeing every community member as a consumer is expecting far too little of you. You are not a consumer or even a customer of a library. Most libraries will use the term “patron” when referring to the community. This is slightly better, but I would rather libraries be energized by their communities, not patronized. I prefer the word member.

      Time for some language work. The terms we use for community members matters. To be clear what term used within a community should be determined by the community. What term we use within the profession is a different matter.

    11. Now here’s one to twist your mind a bit: in some communities and for some questions the Stormfront MLK website is high-quality information. That community is not just the racist sect, but in your community as well. High-quality? Imagine a reporter looking for examples of how hate groups use the web for recruiting. Stormfront is one of the best resources for that reporter. However, it is not the best site to send to an eighth grader looking for after school activities. In discussions of quality, context matters.

      This more nuanced version of quality being contextual is as important for fellow librarians as it is for the public.

    12. Because you need bad information to produce good knowledge.

      Here is the paradox we have to work the reader through. It is important to directly address intellectual freedom and quality. To this point we’ve linked things to learning. That is a pretty easy argument applied to things like maker spaces and non-book resources. Now we have to try and sell holding “bad” materials and learning. This is tricky, but ultimately more important.

    13. “Schoolchildren; factory and shop girls; men who tended bar, drove carriages, and worked on farms and boats; and finally, fallen women, and, in general, the denizens of the midnight world, night-owls, prowlers, and those who live upon sin and its wages.”

      I love love love this quote and Wayne’s book. It gets people’s attention and provides a good narrative of how librarians change social perception, not just reflect them.

    14. Let me be clear: talking about libraries improving society does not include jackbooted librarians marching down the street forcing citizens to properly cite works and read only approved books. I say this because there are those in the library community who think that when one’s mission includes “improving society,” it implies a fixed and somewhat authoritarian vision of improvement.

      OK, not a story, but definitely an attention grabber. This was the result of an online “discussion” I had with a librarian who definitely did not buy into my view of librarianship.

      In having these conversations, activist librarians are perhaps to most tricky. Folks want librarians to empower, but get very uncomfortable with the idea of powerful librarians, particularly in the public sphere.

    1. why is this a library and not a school?

      A very common question I get.

    2. Build on Your Motivation to Learn

      Back on safer ground here. Where I was selling a more liberal view on intellectual safety, here I am trying to expand a current value. Most folks see librarians and libraries as motivating – but now I want to attach that ideal to the idea of co-owning libraries. The end of Expect More should not be folks feeling good about libraries, but feeling like they have a direct stake in the success of their library.

    3. Intellectual Safety

      So this area can be tricky. While few would disagree with the large concept of safety, we have to be aware that particularly for intellectual safety, librarians’ values are not universally accepted. Materials get challenged, and there is a steady campaign that feels librarians are pushing pornography on the public.

    4. Transform U

      Lots of stories across different sectors. Remember we are pushing this approach for all libraries, not just public.

    5. providing training

      In my work to librarians this is knowledge creation. I’ve made it more specific for a general audience.

    6. Training

      Aside from filling out a framework readers can use to evaluate library service, we are now taking a widely accepted task in libraries (training) and showing how it fits into this new participatory learning context. Building from where folks are to where we want them to be.

    7. The classic view of providing access is providing access to collections. This has been updated a bit to talk about access to information, but even information is often functionally defined as collections of texts, pictures, and materials either digital or print. There is a big problem with this view of access—it’s one way only. In essence, too many libraries have defined access as providing access to their stuff. You must expect more from your library. You need to expect it to provide a platform where you can access the ideas of others, as well as a platform for you to provide others access to your own ideas.

      Time to take a narrative we have established-learning-and combine it with a new narrative-participation. The second macro narrative in libraries we must address is that libraries are about access and consuming.

    8. Facilitation

      We could spend a lot more time discussing knowledge and constructivism – and I do when working with librarians – but this is enough for non-librarians and sets us to move from 30,000 feet back to specifics.

    9. One Pennsylvania study found:

      Flat out repeating a common advocacy plan in K-12.

    10. Buffy Hamilton, the librarian at the “Unquiet Library” in Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia (outside of Atlanta), knows this.

      Example time.

    11. This dynamic view of knowledge and learning is changing how we teach children in schools. Gone are the days when the “sage on the stage” model of learning was seen as the best form of curriculum delivery. Now, students co-create knowledge, get hands-on experience, and work on projects. We also see this in industry and military training. Hour-long PowerPoint sessions are being replaced with simulations and games. Cognitive and learning sciences are showing us that people are not empty buckets waiting for some skilled orator to fill them with knowledge. Rather, learners are active, constantly relating new ideas and facts to what they already know. The sage on the stage has been replaced by the guide on the side. Our libraries must go through this transition as well.

      An appeal to what readers may already know and accept. So examples from education, business, universities, etc.

    12. Knowledge is ultimately the way in which we see the world, and knowledge determines how we act.

      We’re trying to appeal to people’s more emotional side here to keep them engaged. We want to signal early this is not just a boring “fly over” section.

    13. Knowledge

      OK, prepare for the big ask in the book – we are now going to do a deep dive into some pretty complex topics. Most advocacy don’t want to get too tangled in here. 30 second pitches, tweets, and posters can’t do this. We’re going to take advantage of the long form advocacy.

    14. Rather than jump into that answer, I would like to broaden the question even further. After all, I just spent a chapter saying that libraries are not about books—so are they about Fab Labs? If we should no longer limit our definition of the library to collections and materials, how do we define a library? If I should expect more than book warehouses from my library, what should I expect? What does a library do?

      We’ve already given a broad response to this question: learning. However, folks need specifics.

    15. It was an unusually warm winter in Syracuse. Still, it was quite cold as I made my way with my two boys, Riley (then age 11) and Andrew (then age 8), to the Fayetteville Free Library. Fayetteville is an affluent suburb of Syracuse, and the Free Library is an award-winning library located in the former Stickley Furniture factory. The boys and I were on our way to meet with Lauren Britton, a librarian at Fayetteville. She was going to show us how 3D printing worked.

      Story time.

    1. Mission to Nowhere?

      To be sure actions speak louder than words, but words matter. Great outlooks are important, but the ability to articulate it into a mission is an important process.

      Not a lot of deconstruction here, as this section is already pretty straightforward in terms of advocacy.

    2. Take a look at the mission again: improving society through facilitating knowledge creation. What ever happened to promoting a love of reading and/or books? Does expecting more from libraries mean abandoning reading and literature, fiction and poetry? The reason reading isn’t in this larger mission is that not all libraries are centrally focused on reading. School libraries and public libraries see the promotion and expansion of reading skills as one of their core goals; corporate and academic libraries assume the people they serve already have these skills. What’s more, while reading is a crucial skill to creating knowledge, it is not the exclusive route to “enlightenment.” Some learn through reading, some through video, others through doing, and the vast majority through combining these. We should expect our libraries to support all of these modalities of learning.

      This section is a direct result of feedback from both librarians and board members. One could see a lot of utility work here – libraries only value is in directed study – but the role as haven and pleasure reading is still relevant.

    3. Bad libraries only build collections. Good libraries build services (and a collection is only one of many). Great libraries build communities.

      Tweetable idea

    4. My point is that if you think of a library as a bunch of books in a building (or worse, if your librarian thinks of it that way), you need to expect more—a whole lot more.

      So rather than pounding a narrative idea over and over and over again, the idea is to draw people in and flesh out a new narrative. Where Chapter 2 was about data, this chapter is the stories.

    5. In fact, the Library of Alexandria was much more akin to the universities of today.

      Link to a generally positive concept.

    6. Libraries, good ones and bad ones, have existed for millennia. Over that time, they have been storehouses of materials, certainly, but also places of scholarship, record keepers for nation states, and early economic development incubators. In fact, the idea that a library is a building filled to the rafters with books and documents is only about an 80-year-old view.

      If you are going to challenge an existing narrative (libraries are books) you need to replace it with something better. This is the long form version of that thread we started in the first chapter. What we’re trying to do is allow people to replace the narrative, not because they were wrong, but because it is a reward for knowing more – becoming an insider.

    7. It seems folks weren’t looking to read the books that they had donated and were willing to drive to the three other public libraries within a five-mile radius.

      Directly challenging the idea that a library is books.

    8. They also found that residents took this as an opportunity to recycle items like Hustler magazine. The librarians weren’t that interested in sorting through these shoulder to shoulder with Boy Scouts.

      Humor is a powerful way to help people retain ideas and information.

    9. Every table was a place for more shelves and more books. That, they said, was the purpose of the library—holding books and materials, not meeting spaces and coffee.

      This story is really the roots of Expect More. Also note that these attitudes are changeable as seen in the Pew Data

    10. While the librarians were expecting some resistance to the off-site plan, the level of pushback took them by surprise.

      Because there was a minimal relation and conversation between the groups. Advocacy can’t be a one-time event, it must be ongoing and sustained.

    11. off-site storage

      Never call it off-site storage. Alternative or expanded shelving. There is to this day an emotional attachment with books on shelves. Not books – book on the shelf. We see this in off-site as well as in weeding. Both necessary and can be done to improve access, but must be discussed and introduced with care.

    12. The Syracuse University Library was full. There was no room left on the shelves.

      Start with a story.

    1. Symbol of Community Aspirations

      This can be a bit of an abstract concept much like supporting democracy. The real way to use this in a discussion is to get folks off the library as deficit fixing narrative.

      As librarians we want to be service oriented and help people. This can turn into or be perceived as seeing a community as a bunch of problems needing to be solved. While it is true that we should address these problems, we need to do so in relation to a positive goal. We want people to read…so that our community can grow. We want the homeless to have services so we can be a more just and kind community.

    2. Democracy and Education

      A place to reinforce literacy

    3. Cradle of Democracy

      This is a big one, often used, but rarely operationalized argument. It is a common argument but rarely has teeth. In essence we argue that libraries are important for citizenship, but rarely talk about how they actually promote/support democratic participation.

    4. Third Space

      Like cultural heritage, this is an argument to make a nostalgic and possibly passive idea, into an active one. In this case from haven and quiet place to read, to social spaces.

    5. Steward of Cultural Heritage

      The goal in this section comes back to evolving ideas and creating a new nostalgia. We want to highlight the importance of preservation, but also make it more active and alive. Cultural heritage is not just about stuff from the past, it is about community narratives and living knowledge.

    6. Safety Net

      This is a strong narrative, but really relies on knowledge of community. Do they care about the safety net? Also, this is an argument that can be used across library types. Academic and school libraries provide remediation and study services.

      There is also a danger to this argument (or rather the consequences of this argument) in the public library as the last public service standing. See https://davidlankes.org/?p=6421 for more on this.

    7. Center of Learning

      Here we are reinforcing our alternative narrative to libraries as books and that is libraries as learning. This is also where you can talk about literacy. Why isn’t literacy a big bold section on its own? Well, literacy and the role of the library will change based on the community served. Academic libraries rarely talk about their role in literacy because students should already be able to read, but more importantly, literacy is the job of academic departments. So use it and refine it for your context.

    8. A small library in rural Eureka, Illinois

      Entrepreneurship and supporting startups is still a strong argument for public and academic libraries.

    9. University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute

      One of the newer and stronger studies out there.

    10. Economic Stimulus

      Let me be clear that I believe in the value of libraries outside of just supporting an economy, but this is a very strong argument to many communities. There are a lot of great studies out there that talk about cost/benefits of libraries.

    11. The second concept that can get lost in the discussion of libraries as purchasing agents is the notion of the common good. That is, if a community (a school, a city, a college) pools its money to acquire things, those things should benefit the community as a whole. That may seem obvious, but libraries and communities can miss this point. Let’s take a service called Freegal.

      This section is more for librarians and board members than the general reader.

    12. Let’s start with items needing organization.

      This is here to reinforce the importance of librarians and staffing in libraries. The economic argument for shared purchasing could be used by others in communities. For example, in several academic libraries, it is the IT department that has taken on database licensing.

      I was also on a public library board after the recession of the 1990s. During the recession book budgets had been cut. This board had made it a policy to grow the book budget by 10% each year after the recession. The year I came in, they found that to increase the book budget they would have to lay off staff. I reminded them that having a lot of materials, and no one to organize or shelve them defeated the purpose. It is important to reinforce buying stuff takes people to purchase and organize and support use.

    13. Collective Buying Agent

      This is an interesting argument. It is the most concrete argument for libraries, and one that is widely accepted…however it also can veer towards redistribution of wealth and some anti-taxer discussion.

    14. Collective Buying Agent Economic Stimulus Center of Learning Safety Net Steward of Cultural Heritage Third Space Cradle of Democracy Symbol of Community Aspirations

      This list comes from a review of the literature, and in talking with library leaders and librarians. It is most likely not complete (Third Space, for example, was a justification added between the 1st and 2nd edition of the book. Encourage your audience to think of others.

    15. There are plenty of voices that question the need for any library.

      Never deny the obvious. There are those that question the need for libraries. This is also true, by the way, in discussing the fact that there are librarians without and MLIS.

    16. Cushing Academy is an elite prep school about 70 miles west of Boston. On its lush wooded campus, 445 students from 28 states and 28 countries work through high school. It is also, if you believe the Boston Globe, the end of libraries as we know them.

      Start with a story. People are tuned to listen to stories.

    1. Here is the key to a successful library: you. In a city or a Fortune 500 company, the library must shape itself around you and the goals of your community. If your community strives for greatness, the library should be great. If you are concerned about the future, or the economy, or the state of democratic discourse in this country, your library should be concerned as well. If you make these expectations known, if you arm yourself with what is possible and not what is, then the library and librarians can meet those expectations and goals. Of course, this is a two-way street. Great libraries expect a lot of their communities as well. Yes, great libraries require financial support, but even more than that they require open communication about your needs, your challenges, and your dreams.

      True advocacy is about bringing people on board and getting them invested.

    2. In this book, you are going to read about a public library that has created a Fab Lab—a space where the community can work with 3D printers and make new inventions. You are going to read about a school library where the librarian is too busy helping teachers raise their performance to shelve books. You are going to read about librarians creating new companies in rural Illinois and transforming lives in Dallas. These are brilliant libraries and librarians, but if you see them as exceptional—as above and beyond the norm—you expect too little of your library.

      Foreshadowing for folks who may think this is still going to be a big love letter to libraries as they are. Linking to trends and hot topics.

    3. This book is written not for those librarians but for the people who either support or oversee libraries. This includes college provosts, students, parents, board members, volunteers, and, well, just about everyone who has ever gone to school or pays local taxes. You need to know what libraries are capable of, and you need to raise the bar on your expectations.

      Big tent time – a major aim of the book is to get folks to realize libraries are beyond public libraries.

    4. Perhaps the biggest “why” question you can ask, and the one at the center of this book, is why do so many people see librarianship as antiquated, conservative, and less-than-inspiring? Why is it that while folks love the idea of libraries and librarians, they are quick to limit them to books or children, or simply think of them as historical holdovers? The answer is not that these people are wrong, but that they need to expect more. Too many libraries are about books. Too many librarians are reliving history and are stuck in a sort of professional conservatism that favors what they do over why they do it. Too many librarians see their collections, not the community, as their jobs. Too many libraries are seeking to survive instead of innovate, and promote the love of reading over the empowerment of the populations they serve. I am not claiming that these librarians are the majority, but they are too numerous and their communities (you) expect too little of them.

      Acknowledging current perspectives, forgiving them, and then presenting them with something better.

    5. The field of librarianship represents an annual investment of nearly $26 billion in North America and well over $40 billion worldwide. In an age when traditional institutions are declining, library usage has grown steadily over the past twenty years. Did you know “one out of every six people in the world is a registered library user” and “Five times more people visit U.S. public libraries each year than attend U.S. professional and college football, basketball, baseball and hockey games combined.” By understanding librarians and libraries we can understand how to build credibility and trust in a community overwhelmed with change and choices. We can discover how to create an environment to disagree and maintain a civil discourse. Ultimately, by understanding librarianship, we can even understand something as grand as the role of a citizen in society.

      Using data to make stories real.

    6. Today’s librarians are using the lessons learned over that nearly 6,000-year history to forge a new librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and community. They are taking advantage of the technological leaps of today to empower our communities to improve. The librarians of today are radical positive change agents in our classrooms, boardrooms, and legislative chambers. They built the web before we called it the web. They were crowdsourcing knowledge and searching through mountains of information before Google, before Facebook, and even before indoor plumbing. Today’s new librarians are not threatened or made obsolete by the net. They are pushing the net forward and shaping the world around you—often without your notice.

      Libraries evolve and technology changes opportunities.

    7. When we try to discover why, we find that there is power in libraries and steel in librarians. It goes deeper than tradition, buildings, and books. The reason for the protests and protectiveness over libraries is not found in collections of materials or columns and architecture. To find the answer to this riddle, one must look past the buildings and the books to the professionals who, throughout history, have served humanity’s highest calling—to learn

      Making the link to learning specific – also putting it in a universal context: who can fault learning?

    8. In Ferguson, Missouri, amidst racially charged protests and riots, the teachers and parents turned to public libraries to create ad hoc schools teaching and feeding the children of the city. In the wake of natural disasters the librarians of Calgary and New York City opened their libraries to provide the devastated residents of their cities with a safe place to recover and power to contact loved ones. Librarians in Ferguson, Calgary, New York, Baltimore, Iraq, Paris, and beyond chose to support their residents even when their own homes were destroyed, and their lives upended.

      Begin introducing a larger narrative about the importance of libraries beyond books – without mentioning books. This is tied to George Lakoff’s work.

    9. Why are stories like this, while maybe not quite so dramatic, repeated across the U.K. and the United States? As cities faced with a devastating financial crisis sought to close library branches, citizens rallied. Protestors disrupted town halls and city council meetings. Citizens picketed, and in Philadelphia, the City Council went so far as to sue the Mayor over the closing of libraries.

      Tie it to the local and less lofty.

    10. The Arab Spring had come to Egypt. In early 2011, on the heels of a successful revolution in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets to demand reforms from a government regime that had been in power for nearly 30 years. While much of the media fixated on protestors who occupied Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, many protests started in the port city of Alexandria. In Alexandria, as in Cairo, people from across generations and the socio-economic scale rioted to demand liberty, justice, and social equity. In an attempt to restore the constitution, what was seen primarily as a peaceful uprising lead to the deaths of at least 846 people, and an additional 6,000 injured across Egypt. On January 28 at 6 pm, after the prisons had opened, releasing murderers and rapists onto the street, all security withdrew from the streets of Alexandria. Roving gangs of looters took to the streets to take advantage of the chaos.

      Linking love of libraries to a larger scale.

  2. Jul 2015
    1. The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities

      Lankes, R. David. The Atlas of New Librarianship. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2012.