I wanted to make sure all of you know about this new report. I posted it on the PR Talk listserv, and wanted to share it here too for wider distribution. It’s called “Maximize the Potential of Your Public Library” – but it’s not for librarians – it’s for city managers! It was put out by the ICMA, the International City / County Management Association. Here’s how they describe it:
Learn how public libraries can help local governments tackle critical community priorities such as economic development, public safety, environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, education, and literacy. This new report and accompanying case studies provide examples and instructive guides on how public libraries in jurisdictions large and small are partnering with local governments and organizations to develop innovative solutions for important strategic community initiatives.
I did, and upon scanning the report ... WOW. This is an absolute GIFT for public libraries that are trying to get / keep funding and to convince local officials that libraries are valuable to communities. This isn’t us saying it, it’s their peers not only saying it in case studies but also showing it w/ charts, quotes, and serious recommendations. I’m telling you, it would be hard to find something more valuable.
The results from these projects demonstrate that when libraries are actively involved in important and strategic issues, local governments have more assets and capabilities to address community concerns. Some of the capabilities libraries offer include: trained staff, physical facilities, technology assets, and access to large numbers of people in a neutral setting.
So email this link to your officials. Put a return receipt on the email so you know they’ve opened it. Propose to take them to lunch to talk about it. Print a copy, put a bow on that baby, and drop it off at their offices with a bundt cake or something. Do whatever you need to do in order to get this into their hands. This is GOLD for today’s struggling PLs. Spread the word!