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All Together Now: Keynote for NJLA Adult Services Forum 2010

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All Together Now: Keynote for NJLA Adult Services Forum 2010

  1. 1. NJLA Adult Services Forum All Together Now: Celebrating Collaboration Among Libraries and Communities Peter Bromberg, Assistant Director, Princeton Public Library peterbromberg@gmail.com | peterbromberg.com CC 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2137737248/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  2. 2. Why Are We Here Today?
  3. 3. Why Are We Here Today?
  4. 4. Here
  5. 5. Here
  6. 6. Here
  7. 7. Here
  8. 8. Here
  9. 9. Here
  10. 10. Here
  11. 11. Here
  12. 12. Why Are We Here Today?
  13. 13. Today
  14. 14. Today
  15. 15. Today
  16. 16. Today
  17. 17. Why Are We Here Today?
  18. 18. Why Are We Here Today?
  19. 19. David: Too much, there's too much f*#%ing perspective now. Nigel: It really puts perspective on things, though, doesn't it?
  20. 20. Why Are We Here Today?
  21. 21. • Reference • Reader’s Advisory • Archives/Preservation • Collection Dev. • Employment Assist. • Ref By Appointment • Business Counseling • Broadband Access • Meeting Space • Citizenship Classes What are Adult Services? • Poetry, Music, FIlm • Multimedia • Digital Content • Training • Outreach • Community Building • Emerging Technologies (tech assist by appoint?) • Gaming • Reasonable Policies
  22. 22. What are Adult Services? http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA04/ranger/astor_collection/laundrylist.html
  23. 23. Coherent Strategy 1. Engage in the library 2. Get out of the library 3. Demonstrate value 4. Partner, Partner, Partner
  24. 24. Coherent Strategy 1. Engage in the library
  25. 25. http://www.flickr.com/photos/princetonpubliclibrary/sets/72157624352026487/
  26. 26. http://www.flickr.com/photos/princetonpubliclibrary/4755242266/in/set-72157624352026487/
  27. 27. Slide courtesy of Janie Hermann, Princeton Public Library.
  28. 28. “There are many rich virtual communities. But it remains the truth that human beings are wired for physical community. The library has a role to play as neutral and common ground, public space in which free inquiry, lifelong learning, and simply hanging out with each other are not just allowed, but encouraged.” - Jamie LaRue, Director, Douglas County (CO) Library
  29. 29. “Innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives. It comes from creating environments where ideas can connect.” - Steven Johnson, Author of “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
  30. 30. Coherent Strategy 2. Get out of the library CC 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhillary/2212546989/sizes/m/in/photostream/
  31. 31. Coherent Strategy 3. Demonstrate Value http://headrush.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/06/buythis.jpg
  32. 32. “Books and materials are secondary in a public library. The most important aspect is the human interaction. The library experience cannot be viewed as just an information transaction, but rather as an opportunity to touch and connect lives.” - Cheryl Napsha, Director, Westland Public Library
  33. 33. Coherent Strategy 4. Partner, Partner, Partner
  34. 34. “The most important element of a sustainable library is engagement with the community at multiple levels.” - Christopher Jowaisis, Texas State Library
  35. 35. All Together Now
  36. 36. Thank you! Peter Bromberg, Assistant Director, Princeton Public Library peterbromberg@gmail.com | peterbromberg.com CC 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2137737248/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Editor's Notes

  • Thank you to Michael for inviting me to be here today.
    Fabulous day planned
  • A seemingly simple question, and one I try to continually ask and answer. Every day
    Take a moment, and think about the question. Why are we here today at the Adult Services Forum in Manalapan, NJ
    Why are YOU here?
    A story I heard recently on NPR has caused me to think a little differently about the question.
    It was a story about the Hohokam. A civilization that lived from about 2000 years ago until about 500 years ago in what is now Phoenix
    [click]
  • They were a fully formed civilization with art, culture, organized sports--- they’ve uncovered gaming courts…
    They thrived for 1500 years and then disappeared. Here’s a picture of what’s left of their great civilization that spanned 1500 years (or about 6 ½ times longer than the US has been around.)
    What happened? It’s unclear. Might have been flood, might have been drought.
    Might have been they started cutting funding for libraries and it was quickly downhill from there…
    [click]
  • Here’s an artists rendering of what their civilization looked like
    And, to be fair,… A thousand year’s from now, an artist may render their interpretation of our Casa Grande visitor center…
    [click]
    (perhaps they’ll wonder what ancient civilization this slightly less ancient civilization was honoring.
  • Let’s further define some terms….
    What do we mean by “here”
  • For a little more perspective…
  • Well, who are WE?
  • Of the 106 billion people who have ever lived, we get to interact with a few hundred, maybe a few thousand
    Look around you, these are the people you get to spend time with
    Our time here
  • So I will ask again: Why are we here today? Because
    Life is short (Hohokam)
    Our time together is precious
    We want to use my time here to make a difference
    I want to be awake and fully present
    Enrich my life and the lives of those around me.
  • More traditional conceptions of Adult Services on the left
    {click}
    More progressive conceptions of Adult Services on the right
    Any others? (transliteracy?) (Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.)
    I’m glad to see that we’re expanding our thinking of adult services beyond reference and RA and preservation.
    I’m thrilled to see some of the topics on the schedule today
    Gaming
    Ebooks (digitial content)
    Social Media
    Policies (this is fantastic – who’s idea was that?)
    Marketing to the community
    Multimedia
    Advocacy
    Screencasting
    Emerging Technologies!
    Again, I’m glad to see that we’re expanding our thinking of adult services beyond reference and RA and preservation. [click]
  • I think our challenge, as we continue to expand our offerings is to ensure that they are not simply a laundry list.
    As you move forward throughout the day, and after you leave here and begin applying some of the wonderful ideas you will hear about today, I’d like you to think about how we can offer them In a coherent way. Specifically, we need to do 3 things
    You may have noticed… it’s been a tough year
  • Engage in the Library
    We need to passionately extend ourselves OUT into the community.
    We must continually market ourselves, connecting what we do and what we offer, to the value and impact we have in the lives of our community members.
    Proactively partner with members, orgs, agencies in our community.
  • Engage in the Library. Make the library HIGHLY engaging.
    Programming
    Merchandising
  • Even Java and Visual Basic can be engaging…
    CC 2.0 Peter Bromberg (photo taken at Mount Laurel Library)
  • Listening Station at Princeton Public Library
  • Audiobooks and Movies signs at Princeton Public Library
    Movies neon sign at Mount Laurel Library
  • Allen County Public Library
  • Aquarium at Princeton Public Library
  • Café at: Princeton Public Library
  • FOOD!!! Vending Machines at Mount Laurel Library
    CC 2.0 Peter Bromberg (photo taken at Mount Laurel Library)
  • World cup
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/princetonpubliclibrary/sets/72157624352026487/
  • World cup
    Community
    Social
    Emotion
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/princetonpubliclibrary/4755242266/in/set-72157624352026487/
  • More ideas abound..
    (this is my Janie Hermann CASE study)
  • The importance of Library as Place.
    Giving people a neutral place just to BE
    Make it a place that feels good to BE
  • Steven Johnson blows the idea of the “lone inventor” out of the water.
    People need conducive environments to innovate
    They need serendipity
    They need browsing and stimulation
    They need other people.
  • We need to passionately extend ourselves OUT into the community.
    This means getting out into our communities.
    This might mean getting away from the reference desk!
    changing our staffing patterns.
    Using our time better
    “Reprofessionalizing (Jo McCausland)
    Do more “by appointment”
    Liaise with community groups. Go to meetings, sit on Boards.
    Don’t wait for them to come to you
    Go to them, listen for what they are doing, find ways the library can support them
    Information services, training, meeting, etc.
    See if there are partnership opportunities… (i.e. Princeton Futures)
  • We must continually market ourselves, connecting what we do and what we offer, to the value and impact we have in the lives of our community members.
    So we don’t offer a class in Searching RefUSA, we offer a series on Taking your business to the next level through information mastery. (offer certificates?)
    In our marketing and advocacy, we must focus less on what we do, and how great we are and focus more on how what our offerings and services help people live better lives. Help our communities to be better communities.
    More connected,
    more educated,
    more empowered.
    The Difference between
    [click] superlibrarian and
    [click] super patron (Edward Vielmetti)
    We exist to serve and strengthen our communities and the members of our communities. We exist for them.
    OCLC “From Awareness to Funding” report suggests that strong library support is strongly tied to perceptions that we are transformational and empowering.
    Tailor our programming, merchandising, and marketing to reinforcing these ideas.
    When we hit the sweet spot, of offering something that is truly empowering, and then marketing it that way
    Something like, oh say, QandAN
  • Which generates this kind of response from customers.
  • “Books and materials are secondary in a public library. The most important aspect is the human interaction. The library experience cannot be viewed as just an information transaction, but rather as an opportunity to touch and connect lives.”
    - Cheryl Napsha, Director, Westland Public Library
  • Proactively partner with members, orgs, agencies in our community.
    Why Partner?
    You may have noticed… it’s been a tough year
    While usage is up (good thing!) OCLC’s “From Awareness to Funding” report (2008) reveals that
    People who use the library “just for fun” are our HEAVIEST USERS—AND LEAST LIKELY OF OUR ‘PROBABLY SUPPORTERS” TO SAY THEY WOULD DEFINITELY VOTE TO FUND THE LIBRARY.
    By partnering broadly across the community
    Theaters, Museums
    Restaurants
    Professors/teachers
    Hobbyists (knitters, scrapbookers, computer clubs)
    Community Clubs
    Business clubs and networking
    Organizations
    Business people and networking groups (linkedin)
    Writers and writing groups
    Artists
    You shift your perception and theirs--- from it being your library, to it being OUR library– a co-created entity that they will feel ownership of and love for. THAT translates into support.
  • “The most important element of a sustainable library is engagement with the community at multiple levels.”
    Christopher Jowaisis, Texas State Library
  • Libraries have a long, proud, and successful history of collaboration, resources sharing and partnerships
    We have the skills. Perhaps more importantly, we have the DNA
    We invented resource sharing. We invented shared records and collections.
    Let’s take that ethos, let’s take what’s in our library DNA and magnify it.
    Let’s take everything we’ve learned about working well with each other, with other libraries redirect that to our communities.
    At every turn, let’s look for and nurture partnerships in our communities. Build off of those relationships we already have.
    Now more than ever we need to have not just satisfied customers, but strong advocates.
    And the only way to create that kind of advocacy and support is to engage our customer and invite them to co-create the library with us.
    When we do that, advocating for the library becomes the same as advocating for themselves, for their children, and for their community.
    In this way we will strengthen our libraries as we strengthen our communities.
    I have the greatest faith that in spite of the temporary economic dip, (and in some ways, because of it) we will emerge stronger and sounder, and well-positioned to play a vital role in the lives of those that we serve.
    Have a wonderful day!
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