leah the librarian embraces change

Many library professionals are embracing change and bringing fresh perspectives to the library field. Photo by leah the librarian on Flickr.

Question of the Month

Are you making change happen in the library field?

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Changing It Up for Libraries

In a world of constant change, there are those who resist and those who are leaping forward to make things happen. Fortunately, the library field has a healthy contingent of “leapers”—library professionals who are full of ideas for how to renew and reinvent libraries and are looking for opportunities to make change happen. Whether you’re making it happen independent of bureaucracy (“on the fringes”) or working within existing organizational structure, there are some key steps to making it work.

Key Resources:


New Gates Grant to OCLC's WebJunction
Will Sustain Services

WebJunction’s 10-year run as “the learning place for libraries” received a major boost in the form of a $4.1 million grant to OCLC from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the next five years of ongoing operations.

Deborah Jacobs, Director of the Global Libraries at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said about the grant:
Together [with OCLC], our goal has been to equip these libraries with the technologies and skills needed to change lives and strengthen communities through access to information. ...the WebJunction.org online community can help us accomplish this goal and make a powerful difference in the effectiveness of a library.”

Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas and Global Vice President of Marketing said:
...we are grateful to the Gates Foundation for their continued support and to the library staff members who have built WebJunction into a vital hub for public libraries to gather and share best practices, experiences and expertise.”

Read more »

Photo of Deborah Jacobs

Deborah Jacobs is Director of the Global Libraries at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation is working with libraries in the United States and in many developing countries around the world to narrow the digital divide.

Geek event at the Solano Public Library

Geek and the Solano Public Library Expand Community Connections

The Solano Public Library in Fairfield, CA, is the newest case study in the Geek the Library community awareness campaign. The campaign aligned with the library’s goals to increase efforts to get out in the community, make the library more visible and relevant throughout its wide coverage area, and expand the library’s community support network. According to Community Relations Coordinator Ann Miller, the campaign was a success because the community really took notice. The library now has a blueprint for how staff works together in the future.

Read more »

Geek the Library

The Geek the Library project is a community public awareness campaign aimed at spreading the word about the vital, growing role of your public library and raising awareness about the critical funding issues many U.S. public libraries face.


Geek the Library ad

Raleigh Hosts Rural and Small Libraries

Nearly 400 conference attendees gathered in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina, for the Association for Rural & Small Libraries Annual Conference in September. ARSL board member and WebJunction community manager, Jennifer Peterson, was there, along with two other Jennifers (Pearson and Powell) from the Geek the Library team. Cal Shepard, new State Librarian in North Carolina, welcomed everyone in her opening remarks. Keynote speakers included Susan Hildreth, Director of IMLS, and Ron Carlee, COO of ICMA (International City/County Management Association).

Read more »

ARSL 2012 Attendees

(from left) Jennifer Powell, Jennifer Pearson, Jenniffer Stephenson, and Jennifer Peterson line up at the ARSL Conference.


Library and Workforce Agency Partnerships Highlighted on Capitol Hill

When Susan Hildreth, Director of IMLS (Institute of Museum & Library Services), and a panel of state and local library and workforce officials went to a Washington D.C. briefing, policymakers on the Hill heard some powerful stories about productive partnering to meet the needs of jobseekers. They heard about the successful and far-reaching Project Compass, a partnership of WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina funded by an IMLS grant, which trained over 2000 library staff nationwide to augment their services to those hard hit by the recession. A key focus of the Project Compass training curriculum addressed the cooperation and collaboration of libraries and local workforce agencies.

Read more:

Peoject Compass logo

New Resources on WebJunction

  • Core Staff Technology Competencies - Denver Public Library: core technology competencies designed to give library staff a basic foundation in using computers and technology.
  • Becoming the next Best Small Library in America: read how this year’s winner Independence Public Library (KS) went from obsolete to a standing ovation in the Kansas Senate…or watch the webinar archive.
  • Teen Council By-Laws and Policy: Van Alstyne Public Library (TX) shares these policy and by-laws documents they use to run their teen council.

Your contributions of content are always welcome; simply sign into WebJunction.org and click the Submit Document link on any topic page.


Results of September Readers' Poll on Tools for Advocacy

Last month, our feature article looked at some of the numerous library advocacy tools and programs available for communicating the value of libraries. In the readers’ poll, we asked what tools you have used and what impact it had. Although the sampling of responses is small, there is a fairly even spread in the tools being used.

Comments about the impact include:

  • “We had a Snapshot Day in 2012 in which we asked patrons to tell us why they like/use the library and took their photo. We have put the photos and quotes on our website and used them for our most recent long range plan.”
  • “Increased awareness from library patrons is apparent with the Geek campaign: We're hearing from patrons about it, seeing bumper stickers, and organizing events.”
Poll results in graph form

Spotlight on WebJunction Partners

Spotlight on WebJunction-North Carolina

WebJunction North Carolina provides a centralized online location for communication, networking, staff development, and resource sharing among North Carolina libraries. This service, which is provided by the State Library of North Carolina, offers free online courses to public and academic library staff who work in North Carolina.

Visit WJ-North Carolina »

Spotlight on WebJunction-Washington

The Washington State Library has partnered with WebJunction to provide access to workshops, courses and conferences focusing on professional development. Through staff development and heightened awareness of current and evolving practices, Washington libraries enrich their customers' library experience.

Visit WJ-Washington »


Register for Free WebJunction Webinars


Incubate leadership @ your library

October 16, 2012

Effective leadership in a library community may appear to be the work of one person. More likely, it is a collective act of many players contributing their toolset of complementary and evolving skills. Leadership “incubates” best in an environment nurtured by collaborative and continuous learning. Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction’s Community Manager and 2011 LJ Mover & Shaker, explores peer mentoring and other methods for creating a generative space that nourishes the infectious qualities of leadership. Develop a network of seasoned learners at your library who will incubate leadership and collaboratively lead a rich and fulfilling learning organization.

More information and registration »


Freedom Rings in Philadelphia: community technology adoption

October 25, 2012

The Freedom Rings Partnership is a digital inclusion initiative that is bringing Internet access, computer assistance and digital opportunities to Philadelphians with the least access to broadband. The Free Library of Philadelphia and the People’s Emergency Center are Managing Partners of a coalition of grassroots organizations, government, and universities, all of which is funded by Federal stimulus monies. The project’s public-computing centers—KEYSPOTS—extend beyond the library and traditional organizational walls to locate in community organizations that have the trust of their constituents. Learn how to develop sustainable partnerships and adapt this model to meet your community technology adoption needs.

Presented by: Jennifer Donsky, The Free Library of Philadelphia; and Lorelei Shingledecker, People's Emergency Center.

More information and registration »


The Power of Image: presenting with the brain in mind

November 6, 2012

The human brain is wired to respond to images. Scientific studies of the brain are providing powerful insights for designing and delivering presentations that grab the attention of the learner. Once you understand the key concepts of strong visual communication, you can get unstuck from the stale text-and-bullet format of presentation. You don’t need to be a designer to learn some simple tips and tricks that will punch up your presentations and wake up your audience.

Presented by Betha Gutsche, program manager, WebJunction OCLC, and visual communications advocate.

More information and registration »


Energize your base: Tips and tools to raise awareness and build support for library services

November 14, 2012

We may know that libraries are a good investment but in these times of tight budgets, we need to energize our base to take action— to connect more strongly with community members, to find out what excites them, and to let them know how libraries are changing lives—one connection at a time. Our panel will explore three vehicles that can help you increase awareness of library services:

  • Library Videos that showcase libraries transforming lives;
  • Geek the Library campaign to libraries to strengthen community connections and library support;
  • Data Visualization that helps libraries use their data to tell a story about impact.

Panelists: Karen Perry, Senior Program Officer, Global Libraries, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Jennifer Pearson, OCLC Senior Manager for Advocacy Programs; Jamie Hollier, Project Manager with PLA and Library Consultant; and Linda Hofschire, Research Analyst, Library Research Service, Colorado State Library.

More information and registration »


New Webinar Archives

If you missed these recent live programs, you can view and listen to the recording at any time on WebJunction.

September 6: Engaging Your Whole Community: Principles and Practice to Influence Policy

September 11Best Small Library in America 2012


Thanks to our Partners

Through the generous support of the following state library agencies, WebJunction offers webinar programs for free to all who wish to attend:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Read more about our Partner Program.

Drexel University Online

Other Webinars of Interest

Webinars on the Edge

WebJunction and TechSoup are among the coalition partners immersed in the development and deployment of the Edge initiative, an effort to define public access technology benchmarks to help libraries evaluate and continually improve their public technology services for their communities. A TechSoup-hosted webinar series will explore the Edge Benchmarks. In October their webinars focus on teen-led tech and staff technology training.

More details and registration information »

LUCY Webinars

LUCY stands for Librarianship Upgrades for Children and Youth Services. The IMLS grant-funded project offers continuing education opportunities to all those who work with children or young adults in libraries. Although initially focused on Virginia libraries, the project staff would like to invite librarians around the country to their upcoming webinars.

More details and registration information »

Note: The webinars listed here are not offered or sponsored by WebJunction.


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