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View Diary: Thoughts on Public Library Funding (120 comments)

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  •  Comment from a library manager (2+ / 0-)
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    dsb, Ellid

    I asked my friend, a librarian and branch manger, for her thoughts:

    "This writer makes very good points. My experience as a library branch manager confirms the writer's higher-level experience as a library director, although I might put it differently than s/he does.

    "It's true that leaders (e.g., Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions...) and local politicians often do not use the library and do not see the vital difference library services make for the community, its quality of life, and its future. The best way, however, to expand their perception and correct the error is for them to know the librarian. Library staff--not just leadership but all down the line--can change the mind of a community just by 'bearing witness' everywhere they go. Everyone who knows you can hear about how the library connects families, newcomers to the area, seniors, job-hunters, et al, with the information and enrichment that make them love living in this community.

    "In my first library job as a small-town branch manager, I was active in the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary club. As people got to know me, they not only heard formal announcements from me about events and services at the library, but they heard it in their conversations with me and saw what the work I was doing meant to me. I loved seeing the light come on in their eyes--and I especially loved seeing them in the library as they realized what they'd been missing.

    "Evangelical Christians have it right: our lives can be a testimony to our values, and can impress everyone who talks with us and sees the choices we make. If we care about libraries (or schools, or a museum, or the food pantry, or the homeless shelter, or the animal shelter...), that love is infectious. It should show. And it does make a difference just through our everyday relationships. If it does this just through us being ourselves, think what it will do when we try?"

    The Price of Apathy towards public affairs is to be Ruled by Evil Men. ~ Plato

    by smrichmond on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 05:01:38 PM PST

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