Conferences generate new ideas, greater appreciation

Library News

by Havilah Lyon
A.F. Library Director

‘Tis the season for library conferences, it seems. In the last month, I’ve gone to several training sessions and conferences, and will be gone again this next week to another conference. This is a great “problem” to have, however, because I come back from these conferences with even more great ideas to put into place in our library. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike being irrelevant even more.” These conferences give me the ideas to put into place, so that we don’t end up being irrelevant.

One thing I was surprised by at the last conference I attended (Idaho Library Association conference in Nampa) is how many other public libraries in Idaho are being told by their patrons that they are already irrelevant. Library after library talked about not having adequate funding, or having a building that was literally falling apart around them and yet no one thought that a new building was needed, or how difficult it was to find board members who cared about the library. Library after library talked about “benign neglect” – no one wanted to take down their local library brick by brick of course, but there is no excitement or passion in their communities to support their local library, whether at the public or school level.

I was taken aback by these comments, because I don’t see anything even close to that here. There is a lot of community pride, both for American Falls and for our library. The taxpayers all voted in a tax increase in 2006, in order to completely remodel and add on to the library. That takes a lot, to not only give lip service to an institution (“Yes, libraries are great”) but to also give the financial support needed to help that institution be the absolute best it can be.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, patrons and residents of American Falls and the surrounding areas, is “Thank you.” Thank you very much for your trust, your support, and your enthusiasm for this library. I feel like the luckiest person in the world, to have walked into a library on Jan.1, 2013 that was in as good of shape and well loved, as this one is. I have a lot of changes and ideas, moving forward, but I wouldn’t be able to do them if the foundation wasn’t in place. I am so grateful for that, both to this community and to the employees and board members of the library. Thank you.

Okay, enough of being sappy. I just wanted to make one other big announcement: We’re going live with eBooks on Nov. 1, 2013. As I stated before, the Gladys E. Langroise Advised Fund through the Idaho Community Foundation gave us a $2,000 grant to help us get started with offering eBooks, and we’re thrilled to be moving forward with that project. Be sure to stop by in November and get information on how you can access the eBooks from home.

 

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