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Want to keep up on what's happening with efforts around the country to help save libraries? There's a great new site for that, appropriately named Save Libraries. Their motto is "When one library is in trouble, ALL libraries are in trouble." This project is being run by Lori Reed and Heather Braum. They can’t do this alone and are looking for additional help creating and maintaining the content on this site.
Save Libraries is a grassroots effort to compile information about libraries in need of our support. Save Libraries will aggregate information about current advocacy efforts, archive advocacy efforts, and provide links to resources for libraries facing cuts. The project began barely two weeks ago, and is already attracting attention.
Please email us at savelibs (at) gmail (dot) com for questions, comments, or concerns. Please tag your Web content with savelibraries to make it easier for us to find and collect it.
Kudos to none other than our own Blake Carver and LISHost.org for donating hosting for this site and getting WordPress up and running within minutes. This site is dedicated to advocacy for libraries–getting the message out about why libraries are important.
We’re looking for advocacy information, testimonials from patrons and staff, photos, videos, anything to help save our libraries. Please pitch in!! Use the tag savelibraries or #savelibraries on Twitter. If you would like to contribute to this site please email email@example.com.
It's next week! This theme for this annual event is "Communities Thrive". Here's what we've found for events around the country:
What's happening @ your library?
According to NFI Research, these are the top public libraries on Twitter who
This list is updated regularly so if any public libraries would like to be added, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Got any top twitterers among our readership?
By Molly Skeen
Some people use and support the public library, no matter what. They visit the library regularly, borrow books, take the kids to story time, join the Friends, and visit new libraries on vacation. Let's call them the Fans.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are people who never use the library, no matter what. They have their reasons. We could call these the Frosties. Between the two extremes, there's a broad range of library use patterns.
Here are some numbers taken from a 2006 study titled Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public and Leadership Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century. When asked how many times they visited a library in the previous year, survey respondents replied with these frequencies:
Not at all - 27%
1-5 times - 15%
6-10 times - 11%
11-25 times - 16%
How can we convert library Frosties to Fans? And how can we engage the people who use the library once a year to use it more often? I'm convinced that a great many of the Frosties have needs and interests that could be met at the library, but they are simply unaware of specific services that could help them. -- Read More
In libraryland, there are a lot of statistics that are measured: door counts, circulation of items, computer uses, reference questions, and so forth and so on. As I was getting ready for the end of the year marketing committee for my library system, I couldn’t help but think about some of the things that cannot be tracked. Specially, I wondered about the number of conversation opportunities that are missed by staff members.
I’ll give an example: I’ve watched people come in for a library card, fill out the paperwork, get the card, and thank the staff member and walk away. The staff member was courteous and pleasant; the patron was not problematic; and the overall process went smoothly. But at no time did the staff member offer the customer a library calendar, inquire about interests so as to link them with current programming, ascertain whether they have children within the age ranges of our programs, or otherwise engage in small talk that makes the library sound more welcoming and familial.
I know that all staff can’t be mind readers nor salesmen nor social butterflies, but within the broad range of personalities, they could do something. As we are a service economy with people holding high customer service expectations, is it wrong to think that we have to step up our game as well? I don’t have a ready made solution for this, but it has been rattling around my brain since it occurred to me this morning.
In any event, it’s something the Marketing Committee will be working on next year. Any thoughts or comments would be helpful.
Bassett filled out a little piece of paper when she renewed her library card a while back, but she had forgotten about it.
The countywide library system held a raffle for two laptops during its annual card drive, and Gig Harbor’s Bassett won one of them.
“It was a funny story,” she said. “I went to have my library card renewed, and they had me fill out this little slip of paper. I said, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ ”
Bassett said she regularly checks out items at the library with her husband, and she decided to get her own card updated. “I thought, ‘That’s dumb. I might want to go without him some time,’ ” she said. “It’s ironic, because I’m really a raffle nut, but I had totally forgotten I had filled out this slip.”
Winning the laptop turned out to be perfect timing for Bassett, who recently lost her job.
“It was a heartbreaker,” she said. “It was truly a dream job. I thought I was going to be there forever.”
Nonetheless, Bassett hopes to turn bad luck around. “Now I think I want to start my own bookkeeping business,” she said. “This laptop is so timely.”
Mary Simun did not enjoy reading as a child. But in college, she discovered her love of reading, and hasn't stopped yet.
To make up for lost time, Simun spends her Friday afternoons volunteering at the Friends of the Redondo Beach Public Library store. Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization that supports libraries nationwide. The Redondo Beach chapter was established in 1985 to provide resources not covered in the city budget. Diane Chillington, the personnel coordinator of this chapter, said the Redondo Beach library has become slightly more dependent on the Friends since the economic downturn last year.
Does your library have FOL store? or a Friends group? Share news of how they've helped your library...
A New Jersey librarian's (LISNews' VERY OWN ANDY W!!!) lighthearted Facebook petition for a Ben & Jerry's library-themed ice cream flavor might just come to fruition -- or should that be chocolate-swirl-ition? Launched in early June, the petition has picked up momentum as summer temperatures have risen -- there are currently more than 4,800 members in the group, and folks from as far away as Canada and England have volunteered flavor ideas. If you haven't joined the facebook group yet...DO IT NOW!
Suggestions included Gooey Decimal System (dark chocolate alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream), Rocky Read (vanilla with chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate chunks and raisins) and Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet! (either lime or chocolate/vanilla).
But, like an autodidact left free to roam the stacks, later ideas have strayed from the original to embrace anything bookish, related to authors or reading or titles.
More from the LA Times Blog.
[Kudos to Andy! He's most likely a dynamite librarian, but he's also got the right stuff for marketing. Libraries need that, now more than ever.]
The Wiki Wednesday Proposal was a good idea, but it seems it didn't take off... Why not give it another try?
OK... Let's do that! Here are 2 stubs I found by hitting the Random Page button.