Last week I went to a Public Library Association conference session and saw that the Orange County (Florida) Public Library has an awesome way that they advocate for their library. They actually record videos of patrons who have had great experiences using their library. The videos are then uploaded onto You Tube. The library system uses these videos to make everyone aware as to how their library system is making a positive impact on the community. See the link http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAE3F28BCB39B5682&feature=plcp. Some of the videos discuss how some of the patrons utilized the library to find a job, which is quite important.
I will post another reflection on what I learned at the PLA Conference in the near future.
While I was walking around the area outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center during the Public Library Association conference last week I was able to get the newspaper One Step Away for one dollar. The One Step Away newspaper is a type of publication I have never read before. The paper is almost entirely produced and sold by the homeless. See http://www.osaphilly.org/.
This is Philadelphia’s first newspaper produced “By those without homes for those with homes.” I do not even know if this type of endeavor is being replicated in other cities. I think it is a splendid idea. I had never linked homelessness with the publishing business before so I was impressed with the newspaper immediately.
I especially liked the article on page 8 of the paper’s March 2012 edition. In this article KT Terry discusses Philadelphia’s efforts to celebrate the lives of Whitney Houston and Don Cornelius this past February 13.
I also liked in the March 2012 edition the article on page 12 by Erik Younge in which remembers Whitney Houston. He writes, “Whitney had that gift of breaking down barriers between people, bringing us all together just by the beauty and love heard in her crystal-clear singing.” Later on he ends with the line from one of her songs, “No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.”
The other day Ben Tracy of CBS News interviewed San Jose mayor Chuck Reed about the pension issues in the city. The interview takes place in a beautiful but empty library. See http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57392812/calif-city-seeks-to-escape-soaring-pension-costs/. I am hoping that the library system will get back on its feet. The city has a new library, but needs funding to get it operating. Hopefully some creative thinking and hard work will get things moving again. I am thinking positively and I am hoping that things turn around. I wonder if some outside funding from the private sector could be found to return the four libraries to operating status.
I like Nate Hill’s discussion on the PLA Blog of Library You. See http://plablog.org/. The interview with Donna Federn, Digital Services Manager of Escondido Public Library, is great. As Federn states, “The LibraryYOU site hosts How To videos created by community members that they have either created themselves or made in our library’s new recording studio. It’s also a place to get tips about making your own multimedia web content. Libraries have always supported literacy and people communicating through the printed word. We now want to help our communities communicate through video and audio formats, which are just other ways to convey information.”
I encourage folks to go on to the site http://libraryyou.escondido.org/home.aspx. It looks like there are a number of cool videos that touch on a variety of topics.
There is a nice story from the NY Daily News by Jennifer Cunningham that showed up on the Library Journal Twitter Feed in late February. I have been thinking about this article and thought I would post it on the blog. Basically the NYC public library main branch is going to offer food/drink as well as seating at two kiosks. This is a one year pilot program so we will have to see what happens after the year is up. The link to the story is http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/york-public-library-main-branch-offering-beverages-snacks-article-1.1030282
I really like turnaround stories and I saw an especially inspirational one come across the ALA Twitter Feed earlier this week. For those that have not looked at the Preston Hollow Advocate’s story about the great progress at the Marsh Middle School Library in the Dallas metro area you should look at the story http://prestonhollow.advocatemag.com/2012/02/24/marsh-middle-students-take-back-their-library/. Photojournalist Danny Fulgencio talks to the head librarian Mary Virginia Meeks about the turnaround efforts and the video is included in the web article. Both students and the library staff pitched in to make the library a welcoming place and according to the article circulation has jumped 150 % from two years ago and 260 students use the library each day. The actions that lead to the transformation include the elimination of student fines, grassroots efforts to obtain funding, and students who worked to renovate the library by cleaning and painting. This is a great article indeed.
I also really liked the story on the CBS Philly website by Cherri Greg see http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/02/29/a-west-philadelphia-public-school-gets-a-better-library-thanks-to-literacy-group/. In this article a literacy group called West Philadelphia Alliance for Children is noted as playing a key role in opening 12 libraries in the south and southwest parts of the city. This is an inspirational article to read.