This week I got to see first hand the changes in libraries across the US. I was working with the Florida Public Library Directors in Tallahassee, running their annual meeting.
The report offers 4 key strategies:
1. Aligning library services in support of community goals.
2. Providing access to content in all formats.
3. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of public libraries.
4. Cultivating leadership. The day flew by as the the directors drew their vision into reality, brainstorming how they each could take their library into the future. While each of them had their own map for their area, I created a compilation of common themes in a map that will live in the State Libraries office.
Did you know that the library has become a social services office in some areas? That it is filled with people retooling and retraining themselves? That you can check out a book online from your library? (I bet you knew that!) That they are transforming libraries into ‘maker spaces’ for entrepreneurs, creating video and audio recording studios, and house some of the greatest historical collections of photos, artefacts, and art? If you are stuck in your old way of thinking about the library around the corner from you, go check it out!
Libraries are the new hub for innovation, the place to launch your new business venture, or publish your own book. The library is more than stacks of books. It is essential to our community! So if funding your library is on the ballot in your town, I urge you to check the box that says YES we will fund ours!
Thank you Florida Public Library Directors!