As the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota is quoted as saying “I don’t know how you can be a mayor in the 21st century and not have education as a central tenet of the work you are doing.” And, if education is your work then I don’t know how you can not consider that libraries are the backbone of any credible plan. Fortunately, many influential people believe that too and in this Urban Libraries Council Leadership Brief, details of the many wonderful initiatives in cities across this country are delineated.
The topic of libraries losing ground–quite literally–in current size and proposed size of new builds, is, apparently, a hot topic. No one ever wants to give up space or concede that, perhaps, a smaller footprint for the library could actually be more efficient especially when that efficiency is not what is driving the land-grab.
One might think it’s only the library staff thinking of these issues but in Brooklyn a battle has been waging over the size of the proposed Brooklyn Heights Library but it’s the citizens themselves who are the most agitated by the proposed plans and they’ve laid out a very well-thought out campaign. Read.
We’re serious at WNYLRC about advocacy with New York’s legislators and have judiciously sought to educate our representatives about the needs of libraries and how important legislative support is to their constituencies. From breakfasts to invitations to our open house to local visits to our reps offices and, of course, to traveling to Albany, WNYLRC has made in-roads in establishing relationships with those whose vote will determine our futures. We have taken it, literally, to the airwaves and on February 25th, Sheryl Knab, WNYLRC Executive Director explained clearly and concisely to Assemblyman Robin Schimminger what WNYLRC is and how we try to promote collaboration among the many types of libraries that he along with his colleagues can support. View her TV appearance on Assembly Update here.
Ok, so you survived possibly the worst winter ever experienced in the region – in the history of recorded weather data anyhow! And now, as the great thaw begins, you start to notice that the water wants to run right through your collections area! Well, we have some suggestions for those of you who manage collections in danger of water and flood damage as a result of the recent conditions.
For starters, you can go the WNYLRC Preservation Committee’s libguide “resources” section at: http://wnylrc.libguides.com/preservation-committee/resources
From there, you can download the FREE Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) Disaster Manual at: http://www.wnylrc.org/uploads/documents/preservation/disaster_preparedness/wnydisaster__manual2003.pdf
Also on the libguide are several national resources, including The National Park Service “Conserve-O-Grams” There you will find a section (sect. 21) on Disaster Response & Recovery, that includes helpful information on responses based on the scale of a disaster. A similar kind of disaster assessment and response guide is available in an article, Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance, on the site Conservation Online (COOL): http://cool.conservation-us.org/waac/wn/wn19/wn19-2/wn19-206.html. This latter provides information on packing up different kinds of damaged materials if they need to be treated in a different space.
The NEDCC site also has some great guidance for managing a water disaster – including the tip NOT to turn up the heat as a way to “dry out” the collection, as this may only spur possible mold growth. This information is included in their Preservation leaflet “Responding to Disaster” at: https://www.nedcc.org/preservation101/session-8/8responding-to-disaster#stabilize
The Library of Congress resource listed on the libguide, includes a pdf on “drying options” for water damaged collections at: http://www.ccaha.org/uploads/media_items/technical-bulletin-salvaging-books.original.pdf as well as guidelines for air drying collections: http://www.loc.gov/preservation/emergprep/dry.html – all good things to know when weighing whether to attempt the salvage in-house or contact a professional service vendor for the job.
In the last few decades, professional lines have been blurred and it’s possible to make career segues from seemingly dissimilar majors. At one time, business oriented people were holders of MBAs but now it’s routine for engineers, social scientists and doctors to also hold the degree. Doctors have law degrees and lawyers have advanced education degrees. Similarly, institutions have employed cross-overs, sometimes in an effort to maintain their viability, such as schools becoming more social service agency than just educational institution and, now, libraries using technology to usurp some vendors responsibilities, specifically publishing. Publishing by libraries is not a brand-new venture but publishing by public libraries can be the way the “new” library relates to patrons in the most unexpected way. Libraries can be publishers for more than student or scholarly and by offering more services that publishers traditionally do including marketing and peer reviewing. Libraries may never replace the big publishers but what institution knows more how important discoverability is and what other institution has more access to the individual researcher and the small presses and journals? Who keeps these small journals alive? There’s definitely more room at the publishing table for libraries and not just academic libraries. Read. And for a more generalized opinion: read.