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At The Library: From The Desk Of The Director

Jun 10, 2017 05:29AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Parker Library

(Editor's Note: the following information was published by the Dracut Library.) 

Parker Library Director, Nanci Hill

Two weeks ago, I attended the annual conference of the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) in Hyannis.  I was fortunate enough to be able to bring six other staff members with me.  Now that we're back, we've been reflecting on what we learned; what programs really stuck out in our minds; and how we can bring some of what we learned back to the Parker. 

Each staff member that attended the conference has submitted a few paragraphs about their experience, to be included in the Director's monthly report to the Board of Library Trustees.   These are some of the comments that were submitted:

  • "Being surrounded by hundreds of people enthused about libraries and the valuable work they do for their communities, left me feeling inspired. Inspired to do more and learn more."
  • "The MLA conference gave me an abundance of information and a good dose of motivation. The conference made me feel more connected with the Parker Memorial Library staff. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know my co-workers more. I felt grateful to be part of a library and staff that was recognized often at the award ceremony."
  • "I went to the program about marketing for busy librarians where I learned more about relying on the MBLC communication department for PR materials instead of creating everything in house from scratch. They debut a new website that looks very useful and has both printable materials and high resolution images we can use for social media or websites."  
  • "The session that I was most inspired by was Activating Sustainable Thinking, run by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Matt Bollerman, who told us that libraries are educators, not storehouses for books.  We were encouraged to empower our patrons and help our communities thrive by finding out what is important to them.  
  • "I was excited and thankful to attend the MLA Conference this year.  I have been preparing to apply for the Paralibarian certification, and this was a wonderful way to broaden my experience, and show me how much there there still is to learn!"
  • "I look forward to seeing what changes come from the knowledge and inspiration that conference attendees brought back with them."

As for my part, I was rather busy as the conference was my last official duty as MLA President this year.  In between introducing keynote speakers, ushering in the grand opening of the exhibit hall, and making sure that everything was in order for our annual business luncheon, I was able to attend several sessions and get re-energized.  My favorite program was on Activating Sustainable Thinking. The session was led by Rebekkah Smith Alddrich, the Coordinator for Library Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System in New York, and Matthew Bollerman, Library director at the Hauppage Public Library in New York.  The program focussed on learning how to align your institution's core values and resources with the local and global community's right to endure, bounce back from disruption, and thrive by bringing new and energetic life to fruition through choices made in all areas of library operations and outreach.   

The core values of librarianship are:

  • Access
  • Confidentiality/Privacy
  • Democracy
  • Diversity
  • Education & Lifelong Learning
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Preservation
  • The Public Good
  • Professionalism
  • Service
  • Social Responsibility

How do we accomplish these values? We do it by empowering, engaging, and energizing. "Libraries are empowerment engines." Everything we do goes toward empowering those we serve.  The role of the library is to be a catalyst and a convener.  

  1. What kind of community do you want to live in?
  2. Why is that important to you?
  3. How is that different from how you see things now?
  4. What are some of the things that need to happen in order to create that kind of change?

These are the questions that we, as a community, need to answer.  The answers will lead the library, the trustees, and the staff to do what we are meant to do.... serve you better. 

As always, I am available to meet and talk with you.  This is your library and we want to hear what you think! 

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