Library Advocacy Flash Mob

From the Event Invitation – “Budget cuts, library closures, layoffs, what’s the good news? Well, in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina the American Library association was the first group to hold a conference in New Orleans. To this day, my friends and family who live there have made comments about how amazing librarians are for bringing some semblance of normality back to NOLA for just a brief weekend. As an organization we have made some great impact on the community of New Orleans. So, while most of the cleanup is done from Katrina, and much of cleanup is underway from the BP spill we can show our support for the residents of NOLA and hopefully they will see the need to support libraries and librarians like you.

This is the ALA Advocacy Freeze. Where we get out of the echo chamber of the conference and show that Libraries and Communities can and should continue to support each other. The plan is to have a large convergence of librarians at Jackson Square at 5:45 on Sunday. All participants should wear some kind of library related t-shirt, pose in some position, or bring something that identifies them as a librarian. All participants will converge on the park grounds at 5:45 for the mob and freeze from 5:50-5:53 to show our large presence at ALA and show that we care about the community of NOLA and that communities should care about Libraries. Afterwards we’re encouraging everyone to get out into the restaurants and bars and make a ruckus in NOLA! #partyhard”

Great Library Roadshow

From the Digital Shift

It’s time to mash up two of my favorite great American institutions: libraries and road trips.

I am utterly excited to announce a trip that’s been in the works for a few weeks now, which we’ve modestly dubbed The Great Library Roadshow (“jazzed,” “psyched,” and “downright giddy” are also among the words I’ve used to describe what I’m feeling at this point). Along with Library Journal, this excellent experiment is being cosponsored by OCLC in celebration of WorldShare, and my thanks go to them for being game to help make an unconventional trip like this come to life.

The basics: two of my esteemed librarian colleagues and friends — Lisa Carlucci Thomas and Patrick “PC” Sweeney — and I will be traveling from Charlotte, NC, to Philadelphia, PA, blogging, vlogging, and tweeting our way to as many libraries as we can handle (see “Follow the Roadshow” for a running list of ways to track our progress). At the end of the trip, we’ll be rolling into the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference that begins March 14.

The official wheels-on-the-road-portion begins the morning of Sunday, March 11, when we all converge on Charlotte, NC. But the fun begins at T-minus NOW as Lisa, Patrick, and I work our way through the last roadshow preparations with your help (see below for more on that).

The background: Even those of us who are lucky enough to travel regularly to library conferences rarely get the opportunity to venture out in the field and see much more than an exemplar branch in the host city. Because of constraints on time, money, and other finite resources, it can be all too difficult to just get out the door and see what people are doing at a real variety of libraries, beyond those few with which we’re most familiar.

But we all know there’s so much more out there. And that’s what we’re after with this Library Roadshow — we’re aiming to illuminate how innovation and community intersect. We hear all the time about forward-looking services, brilliant apps and platforms contributed to by coders and librarians all over, and digital labs at branches and campuses everywhere that connect users with technology generally beyond the reach of average homes and classrooms.

We’re going to visit some of the places making those ideas happen and get a feel for what makes them work. We’ll consider what need the library is responding to, and hopefully begin to suss out how other libraries in a similar situation might make use of the same inspiration and hard work. As I’ve heard the OCLC staff say more than once, “it’s WorldShare in action.”

We’ll be reporting on the ideas we come across here on this site, along with library user interviews, behind-the-scenes highlights, and other tidbits we discover along the way. Of course, we’ll also send real-time updates which you can see on Twitter via the #LibShow hashtag (or see “Follow the Roadshow” for more outlets).

ALA Think Tank

From the Facebook Page

The ALA Think Tank grew from a group that was originally conceived at the ALA Annual conference in Washington DC as a way to save money on conferences. The original 13 members were made up of young librarians and leaders who had an interest in doing more for the profession and getting more out of the conference. From this, we realized that we cou…ld take advantage of the shared experiences and knowledge of the group and gain even more from the conference. We began brainstorming ways to improve conferences for younger professionals, find ways that ALA can work to better support new young leaders in the profession, and generally advocate for the next generation of librarianship.

We realized that what was stopping many young professionals from becoming more involved in ALA and other organizations was that the organization is increasingly unresponsive to change. We continuously hear that many librarians are not involved in the organization because “it does nothing for them.” It is our opinion that the organization has itself been institutionalized in such a way that it is suffering from a kind of analysis paralysis and unable to move forward and really achieve what needs to be done for new professionals and to be responsive to the changes that are occuring librarianship.

The ALA Think Tank operates outside of the restrictions of the ALA and is not bound by the institutionalization of the organization. This allows young professionals the ability to self-create a better conference experience, to learn from each in a more meaningful way, and be the change that they feel they would like to see in the profession. Along the way, we hope that we can lead by example and show professional organizations what it is that its members want by doing those things.

This new group is a way to share and support new ideas from a wider group of people and as a way to enact a kind of guerilla change in our professional organizations. We encourage you all to share your experiences and ideas for change as well as finding ways to make that change happen. We want to work together to lead the change in ALA that needs to happen before more young and new professionals are discouraged by institutionalization of the org.

This group’s intent is to not be legitimized by ALA through any of the means that generally occur such as the establishment of round tables, interest groups, letters to the editor, or ALA resolutions, etc… Instead, by working outside of the rules of ALA to improve the organization by doing what it can’t we are going to have the freedom to be the change that must occur.

We also encourage you all to establish your own ALA Think Tanks within your state organizations if you feel that changes need to occur there.

From is an online magazine about librarians and library culture. We are curating relevant content from all over the internet as well as original content from librarians. We believe that we is greater than me and that’s why we are not or .org but .US. It’s about us as librarians making it happen together for our communities and helping librarians make connections.

We are committed to supporting librarians and library advocacy projects. We do this by raising awareness of projects and helping with funding. We have dedicated a portion of our proceeds to go towards helping librarians achieve their goals, to making contributions to library advocacy projects, and to connecting librarians to each other online and IRL.

We are committed to discussing and showcasing anything that is relevant to librarians. Some of our posts will be controversial. You might not agree with them. In fact, we might not agree with them. We do believe that you deserve a voice and that a diversity of voices ensures strong debate and discussion where others publications might shy away. We encourage you to get involved in the discussions but refrain from personal attacks, aggression, or threats.

We are committed to giving you a voice in the profession. We have created a new model for webinars. We encourage librarians to submit proposals for webinars on a wide variety or topics. Instead of paying a flat rate, we pay you by the number of people that attend. Because of our low risk model, we can offer a larger range of subjects that other organizations might stay away from. If you want to talk about best practices in storytime or issues on diversity in the larger profession, we welcome you.

EveryLibrary California

From EveryLibrary California

EveryLibrary California is organized as a localized extension of EveryLibrary (national). We grew out of the need for a politically active organization dedicated exclusively to supporting a California statewide library Proposition at the ballot box. Many library associations – both at the national and at the state level – are organized as 501(c)3 educational associations. Current law and regulations prohibit these associations from engaging in extensive voter advocacy or funding political campaigns. As a state ballot committee, EveryLibrary California can act where these associations cannot. The opportunity to fundraise and directly support a statewide library Propositions will be unique in the California library advocacy ecosystem.

EveryLibrary California will be the first and only organization in California dedicated exclusively to political action at a state level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. We will provide tactical and operational support to state-wide voter awareness campaigns, funding for state get-out the vote campaigns, as well as conducting direct voter advocacy in support of state-wide library propositions. We are not an organization involved in lobbying, but work to drive state-wide get out the vote campaigns.

EveryLibrary California is a non-partisan, pro-library organization with an alignment toward sustaining California libraries as they evolve and grow in the 21st century. EveryLibrary California is a coalition partner with other organizations, associations, and non-profits that seek to support libraries through public awareness and advocacy.


From EveryLibrary

Any library ballot initiative anywhere matters to every library everywhere

EveryLibrary is the first and only national organization dedicated to building voter support for libraries. We do this in three ways: by training library staff, trustees, and volunteers to plan and run effective Information Only campaigns; by assisting local Vote Yes committees on planning and executing Get Out the Vote work for their library’s measure; and by speaking directly to the public about the value and relevance of libraries and librarians. Our focus on activating voters on Election Day is unique in the library advocacy ecosystem. This is reflected in the training and coaching we do for campaigns.

In each election cycle, tens of millions of dollars are at stake for libraries.  From bonding for new or remodeled building projects to changing millages, levies, or taxes that impact staffing, collections, programs, and services, libraries are on the ballot.  EveryLibrary helps libraries:

  • Assist libraries in both the pre-filing and campaign stages of an initiative.
  • Provide strategic consulting services, voter segmentation advice, and assistance in developing ballot language.
  • Conduct feasibility studies and assist in setting up a local committee or PAC.
  • Develop a fundraising strategy for your local committee or PAC.
  • Train volunteers in voter education and get-out-the-vote techniques.

During the run of a campaign, EveryLibrary:

  • Continue technical and capacity-building consultancy.
  • Provide direct financial support to the local committee or PAC in seed-stage or sustaining levels of support.
  • Conduct direct voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts.

In each campaign, EveryLibrary will engage with the local library community to determine our best level and type of involvement.  We work best for you when we work with you.  Help make sure every type of library is supported at the ballot box.

Seed Library

From Collective Roots

The East Palo Alto Seed Library is a project in partnership with the Collective Roots to make high quality, organic seeds for year round gardening available to members of the Backyard Gardener Network and home food producers in our community. Visit the seed library at 2145 University Avenue, East Palo Alto, inside the public library!

The seeds in the Seed Library are organized by plant family, with a planting calendar indicating which families will be most successful during each planting season. Gardeners can come and “borrow” seeds from as many varieties of plants as they have room to grow! Those that participate in our seed saving classes and workshops can save seeds from their gardens at home and deposit them back in to the library. Eventually, we hope the Seed Library will be a constantly regenerating source of locally viable seed, created and maintained by our community of gardeners!

Guitar Lending Library

From San Mateo County Library

The guitar lending library at East Palo in San Mateo County Library system was a project made possible by LSTA, InfoPeople and the Eureka program.

The guitars were purchased from a great local guitar shop called Gelb Music. They totally bent over backwards to help me out. They sold me great guitars at a great price and I couldn’t ask for better service. I purchased Hohner Classical guitars, with a gigbag, tuners, extra strings, wall hangers, and I’m going go back and buy some capos too. I’ll let you in on a little secret too… They gave me a better price than guitar center!

The guitars check-out for 8 weeks, they have a five dollar a day fine up to $50.00, and can be renewed, but can’t be put on hold. There are various reasons for all this, and if you’re interested in the finer details, I’ll lay that all out in a later post. (If anyone cares)

We found that the least accessible part of learning to play guitar wasn’t the guitar itself, but instead the cost of lessons. Because of this we decided to offer 8 weeks of group lessons for free to anyone who checked out a guitar. Our lessons are being taught through a great partnership with a member of a local band called Vintage Music Collective named Justin Phipps. This partnership came about after their band played at the library and we found out that Justin taught lessons in the local schools. Justin was also the one who recommended the Hohner guitars and Gelb Music since that’s who he gets his guitars through.

Great Librarian Write-Out

From EveryLibrary

This competition encourages librarians to get out of the echo-chamber and put their writing skills to good use in non-library publications for a chance to win a cash prize. If you’re familiar with previous year’s write-outs (2013, 2012, 2011), you’ll notice that we’ll have a couple of changes in this round. It will still be seed-funded with a $250 contribution by PC Sweeney but for the first time ever we will allow submissions to online sources and anyone who adds $100 to the award will get to vote on the articles that were submitted. The judging will be based on the popularity of the print/web publication, the quality of the article and writing, and the depth of the information, and how well it addresses the question: “Why do we still need libraries?” It will be judged by the board members of EveryLibrary and anyone who contributes $100 to the prize.

After the lengthy discussion of the recent article in Forbes about replacing libraries with Kindles, we decided it was time to relaunch the contest for best writing about libraries in a non-library publication. We understand that there are thousands of amazing writers in our profession who write their own blogs and write for our professional magazines and journals, but rarely (or never) do we see an article written for the public about how libraries help society in some great way. We don’t think there has ever been a time when such articles should be appearing in the midst of the news of library closures, resource cutting, and layoffs. It’s time that we got the word out about libraries to as many people as possible!

There are many topics that you can write about and many places that you can submit your articles. For example, you can write about an amazing program that your library did in your community and submit to BoingBoing. Or, you can write about using the library as a source for information on market research for startups and submit it to Entrepreneur Magazine. You can even write in to your local newspaper about why the library is important to you and have a chance to win like our first year’s winner. It’s just important that we get as many of our stories out to our communities as we can.

While we are opening this competition up to online submissions, we still have many of the other same rules in place;

-You must be in the library profession in some fashion by working in a library related field or be a student in a library related field. However, if you feel you qualify for any other reason, just let us know and we’ll consider you in the running.

-If you submit to an online source, the traffic data must be available online. You can use this tool to check if your site qualifies.

-It must be a pro-library article speaking positively about the benefits of libraries in some aspect of society and addressing the question: Why do we still need libraries?

-The article must be printed between August 1st 2014, and the first day of the ALA Annual Conference on June 25th, 2015

-It must be published in a non-library related magazine or journal with a national (United States) or international circulation or a widely read non-library website. More points will be given to an article in a magazine/website with the largest circulation or number of hits, and you will receive bonus points for a feature article.


The Story Sailboat

From The Story Sailboat

Who Are We?
The Story Sailboat is a independent bookmobile on the water that will set sail around the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento Delta in the summer of 2012 setting a course that promotes literacy and libraries. Our goal is to give out 1,000 books and install 100 small, easily accessible libraries through our Guerrilla Library and Book Seeding Campaigns. We want to remind people that reading is one of the most fundamental influences on in a person’s life and we will do this through promoting reading and libraries.

Why Literacy?
Did you know that it’s estimated that 30 million people who are over 16 in the United States can’t read past an elementary school level? Literacy is absolutely essential for an individual to understand information in the information age. Without basic literacy skills a person will have trouble with fully comprehending math, technology, science, and other basic subjects. A person can’t apply for a job, full out an application, or use computers to further their careers. If we are to eradicate poverty at home, it begins with our workforce having a grasp on literacy skills. We want to remind people that Literacy and our library system that supports adult and child literacy is intensely important to the success of our country and improvement of ourselves.

What Is a Guerrilla Library?
A Guerrilla library is part social service and part street art installation. It can be any repurposed box, shelf space, nook, or cranny that holds books for the public to take and enjoy – for free. Discovering a library in an unexpected or repurposed space adds to excitement. There have been many versions of this in quite a few cities across the country and the world. We want to bring as many of these installations to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Delta as we can.

What is Book Seeding?
Bookseeding involves placing books in widely populated or highly trafficked areas – like subways, bus stops, coffee shops and parks. Within these books we’ve placed information about the importance of literacy and libraries. Not only will people find something to read and inspire them, but they will also learn about why reading is important. Book Seeding and Guerrilla Libraries let people serendipitously find something that inspires them, encouraging them to re-engage with their love of reading and libraries.

Why do it by Sailboat?
Sailing is the world’s oldest green energy powered transportation. The entire Bay Area and Sacramento Delta are accessible by our little 22 foot Sailboat and the majority of the population in this area lives within a few miles of the coastline.Our boat has taken us all over the bay and has allowed us to access some otherwise hard to reach coastal communities. Our boat has taken us all over the bay and through some fairly heavy wind and weather without any trouble. In the same way, we believe that reading and literacy can help everyone weather life’s tempests and come out on top.