Here’s a sneak preview of the article I am writing on sustainable libraries.
In this time of economic recession and national anti-tax sentiment, and with the changing nature of how people access information, what’s a public library to do? I believe this is the question on virtually every public librarian’s lips: How can we ensure that the public library will survive and thrive in the future?
The bad news is that there is no magic bullet. The good news is that there are principles and practices that can significantly impact our sustainability. We need to adapt our tools, develop new skills, and employ fresh thinking, discipline, and hard work. Three things in particular I believe to be important: strategic planning, community building, and advocacy.
Strategic planning should take us to the foundation of why we exist, not just build on what we already do. Community building is more important than ever, and will require us to be outside the library walls and at the table when community decisions are made. Establishing effective partnerships keeps us actively engaged and involved in our communities. And we need to train our users and others to advocate for us.
What do you think we should be doing over the next few years so that our children and our children’s children have public libraries to enjoy?