Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Video and Libraries Make The Perfect Marketing Marriage

May 18, 2017

Source: Video and Libraries Make The Perfect Marketing Marriage



Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Pre-Registration

April 28, 2017

We know that reading during the summer helps stop the “summer slide.” Summer is coming, and it’s time for schools to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, a fun (and free) way to help motivate kids to read during the summer months. This year, we libraries and community partners can register for the Challenge! They can create “classrooms,” register kids, monitor reading progress, and access free summer reading resources and booklists in both English and Spanish. Go to to learn more and pre-register!

The Million-Dollar Reason You Need to Market Your Library’s Collection

January 3, 2017

$250,000 vs. $8 million. That’s the spread between the amount my library spends on programming and the amount they spend on collections. I bet if you checked your library, you’d find a …

Source: The Million-Dollar Reason You Need to Market Your Library’s Collection

Librarians share their predictions for education trends in 2017

January 2, 2017


Check this out – great ideas and insights….

Fighting Fake News – How libraries can lead the way on media literacy

January 2, 2017



From American Libraries:

Librarians—whether public, school, academic, or special—all seek to ensure that patrons who ask for help get accurate information.

Given the care that librarians bring to this task, the recent explosion in unverified, unsourced, and sometimes completely untrue news has been discouraging, to say the least. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of US adults are getting their news in real time from their social media feeds.



Seven Seriously Super Ways to Target Teens at Your Library

January 2, 2017

1-2This is the third and final part of our three-blog series on marketing to teenagers. Before you read this post, be sure to read this one and this one. Okay, here are seven more ideas for targeting …

Source: Seven Seriously Super Ways to Target Teens at Your Library

It’s Time to Reboot – Libraries

January 9, 2010

 Maybe  –  It’s Reboot Time. 

It’s a new year, a time to take stock, decide about the good things and troubling things we face. For some personal reasons I had taken some time off from this blog and airing my views and ideas. Part of my reboot process is to get my thoughts back out into the library public. Many of you know, I have regularly expressed my concerns about the general state of both public and school libraries for these past few years. Is there enough money, leadership or general support for libraries? The answer is emphatically NO. That is both the current state of affairs as well as the likely short and medium term future.  Acknowledging that – it is time to move forward.

Breaking away from the gloom and doom of funding, staff cuts, lack of leadership and support requires another reboot for libraries – a mental reboot. Rebooting usually requires an action – in this case – it is just requires a  new and different perspective. Let’s think about:

A bonanza of opportunities

This thought comes from the recent publication 10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2010 by Trendwatching. Check out “Massmingling” or “Tracking & Allerting”. They publish a number of trend reports throughout the year as they identify and report on changing trends and ideas. You can subscribe to their free email listing.

They have a sister publication called Springwise. Here they list the Top 10 Business Ideas for 2010. Think about the “Sampling” or “Connecting Consumers” ideas. You can also subscribe to their free resources.

With both a personal and professional reboot in progress, I am confident we can all work to make 2010 the start of new and exciting ideas, plans and actions for ourselves and our libraries.

Why do people think so little of libraries???

May 12, 2009



“So……..Why do people think so little of libraries???”

I received this simple email response from a colleague the other day as her reply to a PA State Senate press release that included a possible 50% funding cut to public libraries  for the next fiscal year.  I know that this is just gamesmanship and politics….. this so called budget proposal…..but really….a 50% proposed cut???

 So…the question still stands: Why do people think so little of libraries???

You say: “But wait… people LOVE their library”. I have come to believe that this is only partially true. Some people, in fact, I would argue a rather small group of people, passionately love their library. The honest truth is a vast majority of people don’t love libraries. Some of the people might: like libraries, think good thoughts about libraries, believe libraries should be around, think libraries are worthwhile places at least for some other people ……blah, blah, blah.

In todays real world –  both school and public libraries are losing funding for materials and staffing. As material costs, operating and staffing costs all increase – real funding is either flat or declining….nationwide. Sure you can find a few exceptions, but the plain truth is – library funding cuts are nearly everywhere. Library branch closings, hours reductions, staff layoffs, equipment breakdowns and old or outdated technology…..these stories are out there. At the same time, there have been truly hundreds of stories nationwide about how busy public libraries have become due to the challenges people face in these difficult economic times. Likewise school libraries face unprecedented librarian and support staff layoffs and purchasing holds. Many schools don’t have a full time library or librarian and some schools have no operating library at all.

I believe the truth is ….. a majority of people don’t believe that libraries are worth the sufficient investment of real dollars. Not tax revenue funding, not dedicated millage funding and certainly not as a pay for services facility.

My thoughts about…..WHY?

1) Some people hold a perception of libraries as that place where an old spinster hissed….”SHHHHH” ….in a place filled with musty old books….you know – old ancient, smelly history kind of a place.

2) Some people think library = books….and since they don’t read books…..then libraries are useless.

3) Some people, especially “millenials”… you know – those “kids” who are always texting on cell phones and have those IPod thingies stuck in their ears, well they think libraries are useless, because they are always connected to their friends, their music and any information they need 24/7 based on their tech toys and so they don’t need libraries.

4) Some people think libraries are just for kids, parents/grandparents of young children and of course “senior citizens”.

5) Some people are too busy to go to the library. You know, they hang out with friends or family, party, go shopping, go places, spend time just always busy. Oh yeah…they have to work and commute and do other stuff too. But the library – not enough time to go there.

6) Politicians, government managers, state authorities – all those folks in power – they just see libraries and librarians as a small, nonpolitical, poorly funded, unimportant and powerless group of folks who can’t help to get them elected or improve their public image.

7) School administrators see library programs and staff as a possible expense line that “can” be cut in a budget too filled with expense lines that can’t be touched. Library and arts programs are always the first to feel any school budget cuts. Because school libraries aren’t viewed as an effective tool to raise achievement test scores – they are seen as an easy place to cut budgets.

8)  Active, outdoors type folks, you know….camping, hiking, hunting, fishing….they spend more time doing, than reading. Besides, the last time I checked libraries for anything current in those subject areas, the materials were all decades old.

9) Sports is a big deal. There are professional sports, college and high school sports, recreation leagues, little leagues and even “fantasy” leagues. Sports represents billions of dollars to our economies, hundreds of hours of our time and of course sports can become a major part of the culture and the psyche of a city or community. When was the last time you saw a serious “sports” affiliation with sports participants or sports leagues and libraries???

10) Google and the internet. Can anyone who reads this say they don’t use the internet and Google for at least one of their primary sources of quick, basic information?????? Your reading this on your computer aren’t you?

11) Librarians are “book” people. Because a significant amount of librarians are altruistic, thoughtful, introverted and somewhat reluctant to be controversial and highly visible – they tend to be ineffective library advocates. How else can you explain someone holding a masters degree from any number of major universities and then only making $25,000 – $50,000 per year with lousy benefit packages???

12) Libraries as “place”. Many libraries are: small, old, dark,  not comfortable, not welcoming, filled with at least a significant amount of outdated content, information or formats. There is typically insufficent space for small or large group meetings. Not to mention actual gathering places where anything above a whisper tone is tolerated. Oh, and what about the no cell phone rules. That alone eliminates nearly everyone who is between 15 and 40 years old. Why is it I have to go to Panera Bread restaurants to attend comfortable and productive  library meetings???

OK….now that we know at least some of the folks who might not care about libraries, whos is left who cares???

The easy ones are: most librarians, anybody who loves books, many small children, parents who support the experience of reading and programs for their kids. You also have to add all those folks who are fortunate enough to live in those communities with vibrant, exciting, relevant libraries with wonderful content, staff and a comfortable welcoming environment and then use their library. Teachers, small business people, many salespeople and road warriors are included. Community groups like: history buffs, garden clubs, some social groups, and all manor of “boomers” are included. Studying students and all those looking for a “quiet, peaceful place” come and enjoy. I know there are many more…..

So how do we reconcile this very wide gap between those who love and are willing to support libraries financially and those who don’t love libraries and won’t support them??? A very successful librarian recently mentioned that anyone who can answer and close this gap for libraries would be very busy, travel extensively and live comfortably on their own tropical island. Hmmmm a nice thought indeed………..

A few thoughts next time……. the ideas are embeded above, until then….. try to be great! It takes courage… can do it!

Public Libraries – jobs, social services and funding, oh my.

February 26, 2009

People need real help!

Where to turn???  Things keep getting worse.

Example: The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania has climbed to 6.7 percent  from 4.9 percent a year ago. The state has processed an average of 46,000 initial claims a week since Jan. 1, a 52 percent increase over last year.

As the struggling economy continues to cause the loss of thousands of more jobs each month, public libraries have become the essential provider of  resources, advice clinics, access to online job search and online social service applications for those seeking employment and help in this time of need.

Public libraries around the country are partnering with profit and non-profit groups to create advice clinics, counseling sessions and additional resources for topics like: employment and career, home foreclosure and access to social services. Norman Oder at Library Journal Online has these examples:

NYPL Session Helping Laid-Off Professionals Draws Crowd 

At San Diego County Library, Foreclosure Clinics Draw a Crowd

The computer access that public libraries provide for internet service for the online completion of job applications and social services is critical to those who have no access or have discontinued their personal online web access due to a lack of funds.  From E-government to E-job-hunting

Now you may ask, how can libraries continue to expand their services and resources for their struggling communities?  The answer lies in an expanded effort to better partner with community groups and your funding partners. See the advice here from Stephen Abram on Funding resources for libraries.

During difficult times – great libraries work smarter, get more creative, develop new partnerships and most importantly – stay focused on the specific needs of their communities. 


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – for Libraries

February 21, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  – we must fight for funding projects for libraries. In these critical and challenging economic times, libraries deserve some funding from the stimulus bill. It won’t happen automatically. See below.


The ALA has created a webpage with critical and timely information about the available funding as well as the mechanisms for advocating the use of the funds for libraries. There are very specific programs from which funding could be used to support library programs.

ALA – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act info site is here:    

Besides the opportunities listed on the ALA website, both school and public libraries should consider unique and new partnerships wth each other. The Federal Education Dept. is looking for and willing to fund – innovative and unique new programs that will support student learning and improve workforce readiness.

I have previously listed some good ways that school and public libraries can and should work together. The posts are here:  School and Public Libraries Work! (Together would be best) Part 1  and here: School and Public Libraries Work! Part 2  Maybe your school and public library could sit down together now and create a plan for a partnership program including requird costs.  Submit those plans to your State Dept of Education for funding consideration. The A.R.R.A plan is to begin funnding within 60-90 days.

Please act now. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to greatly improve your school and public library partnership.

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