When I go back to my favorite restaurant growing up, I find it pales in comparison to my memory. What I’m experiencing-currently-is not what I remember. Life is about change. The library is an organic entity with a life of its own. No matter how much we cling to our memories, what we recall in […]
Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’
From May 5th-6th, library advocates from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 40th annual National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). The key take-away? Practice makes pretty awesome for the libraries and communities we serve.
My son often says, “You’re not a librarian, dad, you just sit in your office and work on your computer.” What is interesting and troubling is that I have been a librarian for his entire existence. If I can’t make him understand what I do—when I live with him!—how can I make the average citizen understand what a librarian does, how librarianship is changing, and why they should support their local library?
Many people incorrectly assume that large, corporate interests are the only ones that lobby in support of or opposition to various policy initiatives. In fact, there are countless others – community activists, volunteer organizations or just everyday citizens – who share their views with key decision-makers in the hope of influencing the legislative outcome. Although often overlooked, the last words of the First Amendment contained within the Bill of Rights guarantees that all citizens can directly advocate for any causes that they choose.
As librarians, we know the value of our community services, and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued, and occasionally under fire. When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever.
Across our nation, American state legislatures are convening for their 2013 sessions. A host of policy issues will face this diverse group of elected officials, offering challenges for advocates on both sides of such contentious topics like gun control, state tax policies, and economic development/job creation. Beyond these discussions, legislators will also have to tackle the yearly process of developing the annual budgets for their respective states.