STLS Consultant Blogs

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Libraries and Learning

The Pew Research Center recently published a report on Libraries and Learning. Here are some key takeaways from the report: The Good The report shows that 76% of American adults feel that libraries serve the educational needs of their communities (71% say they serve their own personal needs and the needs of their families). Also, an overwhelming

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Friday Follow-up: Never Take Yourself Too Seriously

It has been two weeks since my last Friday Follow-up. I sincerely try to write each week. But, when you are engaged with member libraries (4 board meetings and 5 library visits in 10 days); you prioritize to the best of your abilities. This week I am going to keep it simple. I have spent

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Competencies for Information Professionals

As sort of a follow-up to my last blog post on continuous learning, I would like to explore some important librarian competencies (i.e., knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors for successful job performance). I find it is helpful to have specific competencies in mind when pursuing professional development opportunities. Of course, one excellent resource is the Competency Index for

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Protecting Humankind One Story Hour at a Time

Friday Follow-up: a weekly message from Brian M. Hildreth, STLS Executive Director Protecting Humankind One Story Hour at a Time What if libraries opted not to provide story hours or coordinated children’s programs? Would the world be less civilized without these public services? As librarians, we inherently believe encouraging our youth to learn will improve

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The Cultural Lifeline to America’s Most Sincere Communities

The Cultural Lifeline to America’s Most Sincere Communities Rural public libraries are the cultural lifeline to America’s most sincere communities. I subscribe to this self-authored statement because I witness it every day. For more than 13 years I have been immersed in the rural public library experience, and quite honestly I wouldn’t have it any

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Rural and Small Libraries Breaking the Isolation

Rural Libraries Round Table, NYLA, Advocacy, Passion, and Support What’s it like? I’ve been a one woman show in a few library settings. We do what we can. We have vision, we have a plan for the future, and then there are all those folks waiting for your help RIGHT NOW and books that need

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Keeping up with Change through Continuous Learning

The only constant is change. This is why it is vital for all organizations (including libraries) to cultivate an environment in which continuous learning is encouraged and taken advantage of by all staff. We need to continually re-tool ourselves to meet the demands and challenges of an ever-changing world. There are certainly a myriad of learning opportunities and resources available to do this,

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Libraries and Technology

Recently, while tinkering with a 3D printer for loan to STLS member libraries, I had two epiphanies. One was reaching the “sweet spot” with the calibration of the printer to achieve a consistent print. The other had to do with the role of technology within public libraries. I think the first thing to note is that usually when we speak of

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Public Libraries Are Government

Public Libraries Are Government   Economist Adam Smith, who authored the Wealth of Nations, believed government’s role was to maintain defense, infrastructure and education. Public libraries are government institutions even though libraries sometimes view their organizations as too small to be lumped in with government. I think this misperception stems from the way other governments

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An Invitation to Say Your Library is Amazing

Friday Follow-up: a weekly message from Brian M. Hildreth, STLS Executive Director An Invitation to Say Your Library is Amazing This time of year most public librarians are least excited about public service. I am not saying we discontinue our passion for our trade, but rather we must roll up our sleeves and account for

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