Interior With A Reading Lady, Vilhelm Hammershoi, 1900
Daily Thoughts 04/08/2017
I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.
I spent some time writing a summary of the Urban Librarians Unite conference for my job. I still have to write my monthly report.
I placed the book, All Systems Red by Martha Wells on hold which is science fiction.
I also took a look at the New York Times Bestseller List and the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list today.
I read a little bit more of New York 2140 today.
Urban Librarians Unite Conference.
I got to the conference at 9:00 a.m. and registered. I rather like the Urban Librarians Unite coffee which I received. My colleague was there with me.
The keynote speaker was Maurice Coleman who gave a very inspirational speech. He talked about the importance of librarians and that we were all significant people. He showed a variety of slides and images and left us with a list of interesting links. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lJruqV18x0mEpyQXv4Q1D-0hvTulp3dflLe0xp0VMpU/edit
In this list there is a link to a particularly valuable looking book, Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding by Patrick "PC" Sweeney and John Chrastka coming out in summer of 2017.
The first session that I went to was on the IMLS. Christian Zabriskie, the head of Urban Librarians Unite spoke as well as Mike Nepol a lobbyist for the New York Library Association. It helped give me a better sense of what was happening with the IMLS-- Institute of Museum and Library Services. President Trump had given an executive order before his budget release that any agencies that were not funded would be disbanded. In the proposed budget, IMLS was not given any funding along with the NEH, NEA, Coast Guard, and a variety of other organizations.
The importance of this is the IMLS funds the state libraries and many of the personnel inside the state libraries. The impact would eventually move down to the main systems forcing cuts in services like databases, programming, and job services.
Things are still developing. The Appropriator Letters are still being requested in Congress. Right now for librarians, there is a choice of advocacy for your job or activism. On the activism side, Radical Reference is joining the March for Science in Washington DC on April 22, 2017. On the advocacy side, there is Every Library which I have donated some money to before which is a PAC Political Action Committe, NYLA-- New York Library Association, and ALA. Urban Librarians Unite is also a good place to learn about advocacy.
I have been following this closely, because it is my livelihood. This is a short list of articles. Please support your library.
Library Advocates Make the Local Editorial Pages
Appropriations Webinar Announced for National Library Week
The congressional appropriations are coming up.
Save The IMLS! Gale, ALA Launch New Advocacy Website
Top 10 Things to Know (And Do) About Saving Library Funding
Fight for Libraries This Week How You Can Act to Preserve Funding
Nonpartisan Nonprofits Fight for Free Expression
#ALAWO Is Tracking #SAVEIMLS and Collecting Your Stories
The most important thing that I took from it is that we should be focused on listening to people and asking what they want if we want to bring in new people, not necessarily speaking our mission all the time. There is a tendency among libraries to help out the people who bring in the most statistics in terms of circulation and programming, not everyone.
There was an exercise on thinking about how we would handle a visiting group of developmentally disabled people. Also there was some discussion on what we can do as librarians with controversial social topics.
The final session I attended was on Tactical Urbanism or small inexpensive civic projects that can change a community. The one that most stood out for me was the Boston Storefront Library in Chinatown where people setup a library in a vacant storefront to demonstrate that they needed a library there. http://www.storefrontlibrary.org/
The session opened with a number of examples of projects like painting abandoned properties in Detroit Tiggerite orange. The speaker, Karen Munro mentioned E.F. Schumacher's book, Small Is Beautiful.
I found this session to be very focused on design and architecture. It reminded me a little bit of the idea of design thinking.
I enjoyed the conference. I had a chance to talk to a few different people. I was invited to New York Library Club on Monday to tour the United Nations library.
The conference was useful, entertaining, and well worth going to. As always, I try and put what I thought was interesting into my summary.
In Defense of Books