Why Libraries Rock

3835642932_1981254635In order to raise awareness not only of the plight of the Louisville Free Public Library but libraries everywhere I decided to participate in the Blogathon that Andy Woodworth got started.

So why are libraries awesome or rock or kick butt?   All libraries rock because they allow free access to all information (be it print, audio, visual or world wide webable).   We do a lot more than that but since each library focuses on different aspects of their community I thought I’d blog about why MY library rocks!

My library rocks starting at the top and it works it’s way down through every staff member.

  • Our Library Board is very supportive of what we do and sees that our mission & vision stays current and provides our customer base with what they expect.
  • Our Executive Director and CEO has seen that we are not only aligned with  but synonymous with education.  Education is the corner stone of what we do.  We educate all the time – whether it is a story time class, book promotion, or customer service staff helping a customer log into their account.  Each interaction is based in educating, in training.  This is just one of the many initiatives she has implemented since coming to Howard County.
  • Our Public Relations department that produces an outstanding newsletter every quarter that highlights our classes, events, and seminars.  They have created the Howard County Library brand and oversee everything from our flyers, to our signs, to our social web presence making sure  we are consistently presenting the correct image and wording.
  • Our Information Technology department which not only supports over 300 computers (and more coming)  for our public to use (using a Linux operating system which allows us to save our tax payers money while providing a stable, secure environment on which to work) but also the staff desktops (in Linux, Mac and Windows).  We also maintain the web site, catalogs, and databases so our customers may  self-direct their education.
  • Our Children’s & Teen Curriculum – what can I say about all the wonderful classes our children’s services provide?  I’ve been privy to many (taking photos or just walking by) – the amount of energy, time, thought and fun (while learning) that goes into these classes is second to none.  These instructors really have  a calling and put our youngest customers on the path to lifelong learning.  The teen events are no less spectacular.  Making purses from old jeans,  “Hogwarts Summer School” to celebrate the latest Harry Potter movie, Duct Tape flip-flops and gaming nights give our teens a safe environment to socialize, learn and interact.
  • Our Events and Seminars – the learning and fun isn’t just for our children and teens.  Author visits, book club discussions, classes on technology, health, finances or travel and recreation are just some of the great offerings our adult customers can enjoy.
  • Our Passport facility.  Our East Columbia Branch is now an official Passport Acceptance Facility.  Another great service for our customers.  They can use all the wonders of the library while applying for their passports.
  • Community Education and Partnerships.  No library is an island, we are very  much a part of the community.  Our partnerships – Howard County Public School system, Howard Community College, Lincoln Technical Institute, Leadership Howard County, Choose Civility, Horizon Foundation, Howard County Autism Society, Lazarus Foundation – (PCs4Kids), HC DrugFree, Inc., Girl Scouts, Ubuntu Maryland Local Community Team – are just some of the ways we are out in the community interacting, engaging, and educating our customers.
  • Our Collection.   It’s not just the outstanding materials our selectors purchase but the hard working individuals that catalog, process and circulate these materials so that our customers can get what they want when they want it (whether it’s an in house visit or via our web site and catalogs).
  • Our Customer Service.  We pride ourselves on not only meeting but exceeding our customer’s ideas of what good customer service looks like.  This comes in all shapes and forms – from helping someone at our Information or Customer Services desks, to recommended a book/dvd/cd/or event via our blog Highly Recommended, to answering a customer’s concern via email, to talking to a teen who just needs someone to listen – we believe in going that extra step, that extra degree.

There are many more aspects and departments that I didn’t mention.  They too help to give our customers what they want or support our staff so they can give our customer what they need.  We need ALL the parts of this well oiled machine to make our library rock and to rank first in the nation among great public libraries according to Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2008.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Thanks for Spreading the Word – Twitter & Raising Funds for LFPL

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

For those who don’t understand how things like Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and blogs can help you get your message (be it an individual or a company/organization) let me give you a perfect example from yesterday.

Steve Lawson posted a blog entry on See Also trying to raise money to help the Louisville Free Public Library.  Folks who subscribe to his RSS feed I’m sure saw this post, as well as those who searched and stumbled upon it that way but I love how we all jumped on this and spread the news.

My original Tweet:

mlibrarianusLet’s Flood Them With Cash: I know the economic times pull on everyone’s purse strings.  What I̵.. http://bit.ly/yFnHq

Then my followers retweeted (thanks to them all for helping to spread the word):

eclasperRT @AtYourLibrary: RT @mlibrarianus: Louisville Free Public Lib is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today http://twurl.nl/uumkmn

thesheckRT @mlibrarianus: Louisville Free Public Lib is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can http://twurl.nl/uumkmn #libraries

AtYourLibraryRT @mlibrarianus: Louisville Free Public Lib is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can http://twurl.nl/uumkmn

prattlibraryRT @mlibrarianus Louisville Free PL in desperate need – is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can: http://twurl.nl/uumkm

Grants_PrattRT @mlibrarianus Louisville Free PL in desperate need – is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can: http://twurl.nl/uumkm

JobCenter_PrattRT @mlibrarianus Louisville Free PL in desperate need – is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can: http://twurl.nl/uumkmn

calimaeIcon_lockLouisville Free Public Library is under more than 3 ft of water – donate today if you can http://twurl.nl/uumkmn (via @mlibrarianus)

TuphlosRT @TaraLSF RT @mlibrarianus Support Your Library – keep Louisville Free Public Library in mind. They are under water – need your help

TaraLSFRT @mlibrarianus Support Your Library – keep Louisville Free Public Library in mind. They are under water – need your help to recover h

My followers added their own original Tweets or retweeted other to spread the word:

gregschwartz http://twitpic.com/cujvz – Today’s first pic

TaraLSFRT @amandamcneil How to donate to the Louisville Library ($1mil in damages): http://bit.ly/yrkVm

TaraLSFRT @yo_bj RT: @TheRepoRat: Help Louisville Free Public Library, devastated by flash flooding: http://bit.ly/tJea7

mlibrarianus#fb New blog post Let’s Flood Them With Cash: I know the economic times pull on everyone&.. http://bit.ly/yFnHq

cjburnsRT @czamm: Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH – LSW raising funds

librarianbydayLouisville Free Public Library Needs Your Help http://bit.ly/tJea7

mir_bRT @gregschwartz Watching the h2o being poured out of our servers. Depressing. and http://twitpic.com/cujvz – Today’s first pic #lfplflood

mir_bRT @czamm Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH (LSW fundraiser) #lfplflood

cindiRT @czamm Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH

ellbeeceeIcon_lockRT @czamm Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH (LSW fundraiser)

mir_bLouisville Free Public Library, hang in there. #lfplflood

gregschwartzWatching the h2o being poured out of our servers. Depressing.

joshuamneffRT @czamm Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH

TaraLSFRT @Jill_HW Flood devastation at Louisville (KY) Free Public Library from @gregschwartz http://twitpic.com/cujvz

Jill_HWFlood devastation at Louisville (KY) Free Public Library from @gregschwartz http://twitpic.com/cujvz

libraryfutureRT @cpellegr The LSW is helping out the Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8 Spread the word.

laurabottsHelp the flooded Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8

beccalovesbooksReading about the Louisville Free Public Library and their damage from the rain. I wish there were something I could physically do to help!

jambinaRT @cpellegr: The LSW is helping out the Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8 Spread the word.

lisacarlucciRT @libraryfuture @cpellegr The LSW is helping out the Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8 Spread the word!

BillDrew4RT @cjburns: RT @czamm: Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH – LSW raising funds

millerlibrarianRT @libraryfuture RT @cpellegr The LSW is helping out the Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8 Spread the word.

kenleyneufeldFwd: Let’s raise $5k for Louisville Public Library in the name of the LSW – http://bit.ly/DTj2K (via… [pic] http://ff.im/-6cMjG

kenleyneufeldFor you non-librarian types, the Louisville PL was flooded yesterday. Help out with a small/large donation at http://bit.ly/DTj2K

cclibrarian#Librarian Feeds reading:Louisville: Can A Plague of Locusts Be Far Behind? http://bit.ly/DkyU7

baldgeekinmdIcon_lockRT @cpellegr The LSW is helping out the Louisville Free Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8 Spread the word.

HoCo_Library Help out! Louisville Public Library hit hard by rain and flood. To read more and to donate http://bit.ly/3kb2NN

Jill_HWLet’s raise $5,000 for Louisville Public Library in the name of the LSW – http://tinyurl.com/lc42u8

codslapHelp the Louisville free Public Lib. They had a huge flood. http://bit.ly/3vaf6V Let’s see if we can meet the LSW donation goal of $5,000.

http://twitpic.com/cvorn – My (former?) officegregschwartz

And others I don’t even know got into the act

wfplnews WFPL The Edit: LFPL Closed All Week: The Louisville Free Public Library’s main branch downtown wil.. http://bit.ly/bFral

wfplnews WFPL The Edit: Eat A Pie For The Library: @michellej at Consuming Louisville has started taking ma.. http://bit.ly/oQWxa

AriThatcher Help the Louisville Free Public Library recover from flood damage http://bit.ly/S8edr

Jen_Cook RT @TeresaMedeiros: Book drive 2 help out Louisville Free Public Library-flooded yesterday-massive damage. http://bit.ly/GkZNK

RainyDayBooks RT Help the Louisville Free Public Library out. http://bit.ly/3vaf6V . You don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone.

Achilles_healin @joshuamneff Donated, sir. … RT @czamm Louisville Free Public Library needs your help http://icanhaz.com/LFPLNYH

Steve reported today that $600 has already been raised (less than 24 hours after posting his blog entry).  Thank you to all who helped spread the word and more importantly to those who contributed to a very worthy cause.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Let’s Flood Them With Cash

fl2lgI know the economic times pull on everyone’s purse strings.  What I’m hoping is this will pull on everyone’s heart strings and maybe release a few purse strings as well.

Can you imagine coming home to your computer, books, TV, furniture and other beloved items under more than 3 feet of water?!  That is exactly what happened to the Louisville Free Public Library.   Fellow IT and Library friend, Greg Schwartz alerted us to the very devastating news via Twitter updates and Twitpic.  Their data center, mechanical room (for HVAC) and holding area for the books was just obliterated.

Library Society of the World is trying to raise $5,000 by September 1.  To find out more about and to contribute please read Steve Lawson’s blog post.

My heart (and my wallet) go out to all the employees, customers/ patrons/users of this library.  I hope you can come back even bigger and better than you were before.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]