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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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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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Millenials

(Please accept my apologies – the link was broken so I am reposting this week’s blog.) I don’t know about you but I am growing tired of talk of the millenials. Not the millenials, you understand. I find them generally quite engaging, energetic, anxious to learn. I am tired of all of the articles and […]

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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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Governors’ State of the State

One of the key elements of advocacy is connecting agendas. So what are the agendas of the U.S. governors? The governors’ annual State of the State addresses provide a snapshot of each state’s priorities for the coming year. With that in mind, Governing compiled transcripts of each speech so far. The 48 governors addressing their […]

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Are the Boomers Ruining Libraries?

Given the seniors are major users of libraries, maybe they will be a boon. But are they a boon as leaders? Once again I was leading a discussion of library directors, examining the serious and somewhat systemic issues facing our future and prospects for service. There are staffing issues (why are librarians always named as […]

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Should the CEO be a Librarian?

There is great difference of opinion about this, particularly among some public library CEOs. Certainly there are recent examples of great library leaders without the MLIS and more than a few unmitigated disasters who held the credential. Rather than tackle this issue (although I do not see professional librarianship inherently antithetical to appropriate business and […]

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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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Is this Racism?

As a profession, we pride ourselves on a commitment to diversity of opinion and to diversity in the workplace. But are there schisms? A beleaguered young professional contacted me last week. She has an MLIS degree from Iran. She cannot get an interview… not even for a clerk, technician or on-call position. She has been […]

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Project Ownership

Who Owns the Project? If everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. If the Board or the team or the committee is responsible, no one is responsible. Projects, whether strategic initiatives, plans or single projects need champions. They also need a name for responsibility and a timeline for accountability. Too often the plan is not […]

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