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Future of Libraries Issues

During the two day summit last week in Vancouver on the Future of Libraries so many issues emerged, and so many thoughtful responses. I note here some of the issues but guest bloggers will contribute more context and elaboration, even a few answers, over the next few weeks… The future is not what it used […]

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The Future of Libraries: Do We Have Five Years to Live?

The Future of Libraries: Do We Have Five Years to Live? A two-day institute for CEOs and University/College Librarians, and their senior staff, to get beyond the nostalgia, platitudes and cliches and explore the significant challenges facing library leaders. The Program Tuesday, November 12 8:30 Hosted Refreshments 9:00 Welcome from the Co-Chairs: Jane Dysart and […]

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Why Can’t we Measure Outcome and Impact?

In an important study a few years ago (2005), Alfred Tat-Kei Ho and Anna Ya Ni investigated whether cities had shifted to outcome-oriented performance reporting, through an analysis of city budgets. (Their work was published in Public Budgeting & Finance, Summer 2005.) As they said in their study, an ‘‘outcome’’ orientation has been emphasized in […]

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Netflix for Books?

Netflix runs very differently in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. version has a wealth of titles and “movie advisory services” based on your previous choices and stated likes and dislikes. You can also maintain a queue of titles you wish to see, and revise it regularly online. So why is this relevant? Well, here […]

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Are Volunteers Only Disaster-Prone?

Volunteers. In a time of budget restraint and service reductions, is it time to revisit the volunteer? Recent natural disasters – floods, hurricanes, train wrecks – led to an outpouring of community engagement and involvement. All lauded. But do residents see their contributions limited to disasters? When will boomers start to demand entry to public […]

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Whither (Wither?) Public Library CEOs?

All right, is it whither or wither? Depends on your viewpoint perhaps. According to Robert O’Neill, writing in Governing (July 24, 2013): “The challenges facing today’s governments require a management approach that cuts across disciplines and departments.” As the world has grown more complex, government leaders have responded by constructing their organizations to leverage specialization. […]

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School Readiness – Change the Game as Well as the Name

How do we connect agendas? In demonstrable, observable, fundable ways? I have been impressed recently by the many articles, columns and books written on “nudging” people toward desirable behaviors. Of course there is much controversy about the role of government in all of this but there are some kernels of value to librarians and libraries. […]

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School Libraries and Student Achievement

There is much attention around the importance of school libraries and advocacy for same. Are we missing the mark? Do school libraries really make a difference? The answer is no, they don’t. There is ample evidence of efficacy. See, for example, the fine work has been done by the Library Research Service (LRS) in Colorado […]

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What is Wrong With Us?

Am I the only one concerned about the wonderful applause that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received at the American Library Association (ALA) conference in Chicago last week? Now, as an advocate, I would expect that he would be greeted with respect befitting his office and his support for public libraries. His politics are also closely […]

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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

I just received my copy of Municipal World, a national magazine about municipal affairs. It is a wonderful way to stay current with the issues facing mayors, city councilors and administrators. This month had two articles of specific interest. “Lifelong Learning” was described as “One of the new trends for smart cities is acknowledging their […]

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