MPLA: Marilyn Johnson Indispensable Librarian

Marilyn Johnson

Wrote the Deadbeat about obituary writers.

Wrote This Book is Overdue – during her research for the book, she realized that Libraries were in a state of flux.  Saw that libraries were learning how to use technology resources to help patrons.

Idea for those of us who are out of synch: build a place where you can read, watch and grow. Learn, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, tech workshops, storytimes…already built, stocked, staffed and used.

Libraries are still needed.

Leadership in the library world:

  • UK – 400 libraries were suppose to be closed, so the patrons checked out all of the books, emptying the shelves.  That outpouring lead to reinstatement of those libraries.
  • Our world involves being On a plane with four devices and putting all our family photos are on Facebook (who then owns them) and we’ve given sites like Amazon.com permission to read our books over our shoulders — so we need savvy information professionals to help us navigate in this world.  All of this ends up in librarian’s laps – the devices, the ebooks, the online forms from the IRS…
  • The EU will have a universal phone charger.  Collaboration can happen!
  • Why aren’t libraries mentioned in economic recovery programs?  Why are trained professionals being taken advantage of?  Where else are children taken as seriously as adults?  Where can you go to hear author talks for free?
  • People aren’t enemies of libraries, but are insulated from the library.  They buy what the need – books, computer tech – they don’t use the library the way the less-insulated folks use it.
  • If you can get them into the doors of the library, the library will sell itself.  Focus on the non-users.  People who haven’t darkened the door since college.
    • New Hampshire libraries with heat during a blizzard opened doors until 11 pm.  Used social networking to advertise.  Non-users noticed: computers, nice atmosphere, electricity for charging, entertaining children.  Ended up this was very good for their funding!
    • Libraries don’t just have to be about book.  Collection of guitars, collection of gadgets,green device that determines electrical pull (shared resources in Portland), cake pans (GO JEANETTE), publicity can come from these odd collections…and fill a different need (aside from books).
    • Therapy dog (GO DIANA/MELINDA) – you can check him out for 1/2 hour.
    • David Farrio – follow up with (now the US archivist).  At first there were no social networking initiatives, so he told staff – every idea you have, implement it.  Just Go Do It. ‘Assume yes until I say now, we have a lot of catching up to do.’  Archives.gov.
  • Without Strong Librarians, they are just buildings full of stuff.  Local librarians who helped her, read to her children, who say hi by name and know her personally. they are the ones she loves the most.
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