Jessica Wilson loves her library card

A Los Angeles Public Library patron expresses her love for her well-used library card; by Jessica Wilson on Flickr.

Question of the Month

Which advocacy tools have you used and what impact has it had?

Take the poll »

Putting Library Advocacy Tools to Work

With all of the library advocacy tools and efforts in play, one might hope to never again read an op-ed piece that claims the library is a dying institution in this age of Google and smartphones. However, the message of libraries’ essence and value to their communities has not reached everyone in spite of the number of library directors, trustees and staff who have participated in advocacy training and used advocacy resources. This month we tour some of the advocacy tools and programs available in the article Core Library Value: Telling it over and over.

Story begets story:

Finnish library bookmobile

A Finnish library bookmobile invites with color and an open door.

Photo by Zola Maddison.

A Global Picture Of Librarianship

Following her selection as an Associate for the 2-year IFLA International Leaders Programme, Zola Maddison, WebJunction Project Coordinator, attended her first IFLA conference—the 2012 convening in Helsinki, Finland. She shares her international experience in these two news items:

» IFLA in Helsinki Welcomes a First-timer
Shortly after her arrival, Zola shared her first impressions of the conference Opening Ceremony as an inspiring kick-off with traditional folk songs and a focus on the common values shared by libraries.

» Attending IFLA: Getting a global picture of librarianship
Zola pinpoints two trends "across all cultural and linguistic boundaries"— e-Lending and advocacy. There are global efforts addressing both of these challenges and reaffirmations of the power of belonging to the global network of library professionals.


Bensenville Library Opens its Doors Wide for Freedom

With a motto like “Expect the unexpected from Bensenville Library,” our WebJunction team has come to expect vigorous and future-facing action from Bill Erbes, Assistant Director at the Bensenville (IL) Community District Library. Bill was a star trainer for Project Compass and a leader in helping libraries develop workforce recovery services for their communities. Now he has an invitation to all libraries in the U.S. to join his library in its 10th year of staying open for 24 hours on September 11th to celebrate the power of libraries to maintain core freedoms.

Read more »

American flag

Photo: Flag Waving in Blue Sky by DonkeyHotey on Flickr


CE Through the Lens of the Trainer

Most continuing education surveys ask library staff what their training needs are. In order to get a different view of training and learning in the library field, WebJunction recently conducted a survey asking CE coordinators and trainers what they think library staff need and what their own training needs and interests are. It’s great to affirm that all of the respondents are either "very interested" or "somewhat interested" in trying out new training formats or strategies.

Read the highlights and full result summary »

Library staff practice with light sabers

"Training" by Howard County Library System on Flickr


Rural and Small Libraries Meet in Raleigh

We look forward to seeing some of you in Raleigh, NC, for the 2012 Association for Rural & Small Libraries Annual Conference September 27-29. OCLC staff (all named Jennifer!) from the WebJunction and Geek the Library programs will be there. We hope you’ll come to one of our sessions, stop by our table in exhibits, or say “hello” at one of the nearly 40 sessions planned for the conference. Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction’s community manager, will be presenting Mentoring as subversive activity: growing community leadership; Geek’s Jennifer Pearson, senior manager of OCLC Advocacy Programs, will be presenting Taking it to the Streets: Community based advocacy and engagement.

We’ll share conference highlights (#arsl12) for those of you watching from afar!

Winner of a conference raffle prize

WebJunction's Jennifer Peterson (right) congratulates the winner of a raffle prize at the 2011 ARSL Conference in Frisco, TX. Photo by Paul Healey.


An Update on OCLC's Small Libraries Project

Over a year ago, OCLC announced the Web Site for Small Libraries project, which offered a templated website for a small library’s barest bones presence on the web. The original idea of customizable web pages for library information and a basic inventory system for holdings and simple circulation has evolved. Tip House, OCLC Chief Architect and Product Manager for the project, reflects on the lessons learned from pilot libraries and how they have driven upgrades to the product.

Read more »

screen shot of a sample WSSL site

Explore the demo site for the fictional Loremville Public Library to see the basic layout and features of the original concept for the Web Site for Small Libraries.

New Resources on WebJunction

  • Everyone Connected, Everyone Informed in Minneapolis: Digital Inclusion Case Study
    As trailblazers in tackling the digital divide in Minneapolis, city officials and their partners are creating models for other communities to follow. 
  • Libraries and Information Science Stack Exchange
    Learn about a new social networking tool created with librarians and reference in mind.

Our WebJunction partners enrich us all with their content contributions:

  • Weeding in the Garden of Good and Evil
    WebJunction-Connecticut offers a PowerPoint presentation to help explain the whys and hows of weeding public library collections; includes two handy handouts.
  • Surveying People Who Don't Use Libraries
    WebJunction-Pennsylvania shares an article on how to find out more about reaching your non-user community members.

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


Results of August Readers' Poll on Libraries and Civic Engagement

The results of the August poll provoke more questions than answers about the status of libraries and civic engagement with their communities. The number of responses was far below what our WebJunction polls usually elicit, making it difficult to draw conclusions or identify trends. The article itself, The Engaged and Embedded Library, received a 5-star rating from 4 readers—a high level of response for a feature article. This begs some questions as to whether there is lack of interest in the topic, whether the poll is poorly defined, whether these levels of library engagement are out of scope for most of our readers, or whether it was just August.

One person entered this discouraging comment:
"It [civic engagement] is nonexistent; city government works hard to keep the library uninvolved in the community & does not encourage the education of the community."

Your further comments are welcome: info (at)

Poll results in graph form

Spotlight on WebJunction Partners

WebJunction Illinois Leads The Learning Curve

WebJunction Illinois launched their newest blog series The Learning Curve on August 27, 2012. This series will center on the importance of learning for librarians and will highlight continuing education opportunities offered by WebJunction. Readers can look forward to posts featuring an in-depth look at the course catalog, opinion pieces on the benefits of continuing education, and an overview of all that WebJunction Illinois has to offer.

Upcoming topics may include:

  • Which courses and/or webinars individuals found most beneficial and why
  • Ideas for using WebJunction courses as part of an on-going training program for staff
  • Thoughts about new course topics or webinar content

The WJIL team would love to feature guest blog posts from other partner states describing how and why WebJunction courses and webinars are beneficial to your members.
If you are interested in contributing, please email Lesley Zavediuk at:

Check back each week for valuable resources to enhance your personal learning curve!


Spotlight on WebJunction-Kansas

The State Library of Kansas partners with WebJunction to provide library staff in Kansas with access to courses, webinars, and content focused on the practice of librarianship. WebJunction-Kansas supports innovative professional development opportunities; the recent Library as Community Center series is one example. The series addressed probing questions, such as: How can a library be regarded as an essential agency by the community leadership? Stop by WebJunction-Kansas today to learn more!

Visit WJ-Kansas »

Spotlight on WebJunction-Missouri

WebJunction-Missouri is an online community where library staff, trustees and volunteers can learn, share ideas, and work together to improve library services. Members take part in subsidized classes, get the latest news, and explore all aspects of library service, such as library policies and the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative. WebJunction-Missouri is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Visit WJ-Missouri »

Register for Free WebJunction Webinars


Engaging Your Whole Community: Principles and Practice to Influence Policy

September 6, 2012

AmericaSpeaks is a U.S. nonprofit that wants to increase citizen engagement and participation in government decision-making by bringing together diverse participant groups to represent broader community interests. Learn how to create community engagement around library-led initiatives such as digital inclusion and gain facilitation skills to help build healthy, prosperous and cohesive communities. Facilitators David Stern, director of online engagement, and Theo Brown, Senior Associate, will provide examples of effective tactics for reaching even those who often do not participate because of limited access to and familiarity with new technologies.

More information and registration »


Best Small Library in America 2012

September 11, 2012

Meet the winners of Library Journal's 2012 Best Small Library in America: Independence Public Library, Kansas. The multi-award-winning library’s staff of eight serves a population of 13,420 through innovative programs and partnerships, leveraging social media and the Geek the Library campaign for sustained marketing and advocacy efforts. Using participatory management and community collaborations, IPL has reached out to individuals and partners to deliver programs and services that bring the community into the library. Presented by Julie Hildebrand, IPL director; Lily Morgan, director, Learning Resource Center at Independence Community College; and Meredith Schwartz, News Editor, Library Journal. Hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries and LJ.

More information and registration »


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 »


New Webinar Archives

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

August 2: Librarians are Wikipedians Too

August 23Telling the Library Story


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

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New to WebJunction?

Take this short video tour of the website to get oriented.