Wednesday, May 2, 2007

MLA Day One - Common Themes

Since there are so many of us blogging today, and many posts about the same sessions, I’ll just pipe in here with a sort of overall comment and opinion-type post. Just for the record, I am a middle/high school librarian in rural western MA, so my perspective might be skewed or different than most.

The most interesting thing I found is that during the first keynote address this morning, Callie Crossley talked about stories. Library stories. And the fact that we need to tell stories about the emotional journeys that happen in and because of our libraries. We know that libraries are havens and safe spaces for growth and learning for people of all ages, but we need to show and tell our communities the stories that we see unfolding every day because that is how we will illustrate the value of libraries, beyond just being a place to get information.

Just last week, at a Gates-sponsored workshop on sustainable technology at rural libraries (run by the fabulous Linda Braun), this same thing came up. We had a conversation, or multiple conversations, actually about the fact that we know the value of our libraries and the services we provide, but that we need to share them with all our constituents, especially the ones who don't actually come to the library. So, the real question is HOW and WHERE do we share these stories? I don't have the answer, but I'm interested in what people think.

Of course, for a whole year (or more, actually) every conference I've been to or heard about is dealing with Web 2.0 and Library 2.0. This time last year, I don't think I knew anything about it, and it was somewhat mysterious. Now, it's just everywhere and it appears that most librarians now understand and actually are using the collaborative, social networking tools that make up library 2.0. But I wonder if that's true in all areas/regions of the country.

1 comment:

Beth Gallaway said...

I saw a library website with a value calculator!

Check it out!