Hooray for Huffington Post, which just published an article by Art Brodsky on the value of libraries. It's called "Our Public Library Lifeline Is Fraying. We'll Be Sorry When it Snaps." You might have already seen a clip of it shared on your favorite social network.
Looking for articles to help prove your value to people don't quite believe that libraries still matter in 2010? Add this one to your arsenal, along with the one from Forbes that I blogged about recently.
One of the lines that proves that Brodsky understands what's at stake here is this: "But it would be a mistake to say that the Internet replaces libraries. It doesn't. It's an adjunct." The whole thing is worth reading--and sharing.
BTW, if you're not reading the comments that are posted after articles like these, you're really missing out on a chance to study public opinion. If you want to know what you're up against as you try to educate the general public about the value of libraries, here's a free, open classroom to teach you. Yes, some of the comments can be upsetting b/c they're from closed-minded people who will never support libraries. There are also comments that question the value from people are are actually trying to understand.
These public comments are not only opportunities for us to learn, but for us to advocate as well. Don't be afraid to post your own replies to explain your point of view. If you do post, here are two very basic rules:
1. Don't hide the fact that you're a librarian. Be honest & open.
2. Don't be defensive. Be positive and thoughtful. If you do nothing but refute false claims with panicky words, you're missing a chance to turn the conversation back to goodness.
It's National Library Week, so what are you waiting for? Weigh in online, write a letter to your local newspaper, pitch to your radio and TV stations. Say something great (hopefully with useful numbers to quantify value) about libraries! (If you want help, ALA has promo materials and sample media materials here.)