Saturday, May 7, 2016

Daily Thoughts 05/07/2016

Pococurante's Library in Voltaire's Candide, or Optimism, 1759

Daily Thoughts 05/07/2016

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I read some of What Happened, Miss Simone? as well.  Nina Simone played the piano in church and her family was interested in music.  I am reading the book for a book club.  Also, Nina Simone lived in Mount Vernon, New York.

I placed a hold on The Knowledge How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell.

Web Bits

These Minimalist Papers of Famous Libraries Want to Hang On Your Wall Just Beside Your Bookshelf

Urban Librarians Conference, May 6, 2016 at Brooklyn Public Library, Weird Library Science

The conference was interesting.  It is the second year I have gone to this conference.  The speakers are always interesting.

The first speaker was the keynote, David Lankes-- Rocket Science Made Easy.

David Lankes talked about the difference between complicated problems which might be solved by equations and complex problems that are quite variable.  He described library science as solving complex problems with many different variables.  It is unlike Google in that it is about uncovering different aspects of problems that might not exist currently.

He describes the libraries mission as to solve complex problems for the community that the library resides in.  Complex problems are not necessarily technical, they involve human variables like gender, sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, and political preferences which are often not fixed and can be more changeable than raw information.  He gives the example of hurricane forecasting as being closer to the type of problem libraries solve as compared to an equation like page rank.

In his view libraries are about learning, identity, aspirations, governance, and sense making.  His argument is to move away from a statistical model to a more story driven model for how libraries measure success.  What are the dreams of the community?  What do they want in terms of access, opportunity, and learning. It is a different approach than the statistical approach focusing on circulation statistics.

We are seeking to create allies in the community not customers, members or patrons.  As libraries we empower our allies with our values and aspirations.

The next session I went to was Identifying and Curating Your Libraries Supporters by Patrick Sweeney.  

Patrick Sweeney works for Everylibrary which is a 501c4 Political Action Committee that supports libraries.  Patrick Sweeney describes the NRA and the Sierra Club as examples of 501c4 organizations.  Their mottto is Any Library Initiative Anywhere Matters to Every Library Everywhere. .  This is the link to the Slideshare set from ULU conference  I donated to Everylibrary at one point.  I like their style and mission.  The founder, John Chrastka was there as well.

Every Library does community organizing.  In public libraries 80-90% of funding comes from local money.  Every Library is a Pro Bono organization.  It is supported by many library vendors like Demco and Brainfuse.  The last study about library funding was in 2008 called From Awareness to Funding. This shows how important Every Library is.

Mr. Sweeney gave some quotes.
94% of parents say libraries are important for children.

Voter Attitudes on average national irregardless of political party affiliation
37% will vote yes
37% will probably vote yes
26% will vote no based on voting against bureaucracy and taxation.

The objective is to talk to the middle to convert them to yes.  Party affiliation does not matter with the exception of the far right like libertarians or tea party members.

To the average voter, library statistics do not matter.  What matters most is the librarian.  Every single person who works for the library is a candidate in the budget election.

The guiding principle in being a good candidate called the Haycock Rule is to convince people that you like them.  

Politicians respond to people and money.  People in the form of supporters is the main resource for libraries.  Libraries need to be organized as a cause not a business.  The objective is to create a movements towards great awareness.
There is a progression of awareness that looks similar to this.
unaware -->  observers --->  supporters -->  advocates

For social media, Facebook is the most important.  It will reach 76% of your audience.  Pay for ads.  $100 will reach 10,000 people.  The other tool which works best is email.  84% of your audience can be reached by email.  These are the two most important social tools.  

The next program was Pounding the Pavement by Maxine Bielwis who retired recently from Westport, Connecticut

This was a session about how to reach out to the business community.  Libraries need to be able to speak the language of town and city managers.  They need to help generate income to help people pay taxes.

The library has an opportunity to create business incubators and support entrepreneurship.  Jobs create taxes for the city.  People need to start by practicing inside their library first.  This mind finding the business people who are currently working inside the library.  Many of them are right under your nose.

A Makerspace can be a zone for budding entrepreneurship.  

Libraries provide places to plug in devices, clean bathrooms, wifi, and a workspace for business.  

The last session I attended was Urban Librarian Unite 101 by Christian Zabriskie the founder of Urban Librarians Unite.    

Urban Librarian Unite started as a social gathering for urban librarians over beer.  

When the budget cuts under Mayor Bloomberg in New York Public Library happened, the organization started. 

The initial logo was the We Will Not Be Shushed logo.  It started with a postcard campaign to save libraries.  Urban Librarian Unites also does the things which the libraries themselves cannot do like the Zombie Walk for Libraries over the Brooklyn Bridge, building mini libraries, and 24 hour read ins supporting libraries.

They have given over 10,000 books as part of their mini-libraries campaign.  This includes giving away books to children during Hurricane Katrina in Long Island.

Christian Zabriskie will support ideas if you can come up with a proposal and send it to him.  These are things that the library would not be able to do directly, but might support being done.

His organization is unlike other American library support organizations because it is urban in its focus.

They also do 15-20 minute coffee break webinars by local librarians.

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