November 27, 2015

Report Details ROI on 14 Years of Citywide Library Improvement

Reinvesting and renewing for the 21st century San Francisco PL report

When the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) completed its recent 14-year Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), the city Controller’s Office released an impact study detailing the economic benefits and returns on investment that the program stimulated throughout the city. The 68-page report, “Reinvesting and Renewing for the 21st Century: A Community and Economic Benefits Study of San Francisco’s Branch Library Improvement Program,” revealed that for every dollar invested in BLIP, San Francisco realized a return of between $5.19 and $9.11.

Transformation Time: Sari Feldman hits the right tone | Editorial


The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.

ALA Launches “Libraries Transform” Campaign


On October 29 American Library Association (ALA) president Sari Feldman launched the Libraries Transform campaign, a three-year national public awareness initiative focusing on the ways public, academic, school, and special libraries and librarians across the nation transform their communities. Events kicked off in Washington, DC, as the Libraries Transform team visited a cross-section of transformative libraries, and will continue with contributions from libraries—and library lovers—everywhere.

With Privacy Pledge, Library Freedom Project Advocates for HTTPS

Library Freedom Project Screen

The Library Freedom Project (LFP) is urging libraries and library vendors to ensure basic online privacy protections for patrons by implementing HTTPS for websites, catalogs, and all other online resources. The HTTPS protocol tells web browsers to encrypt data that is transferred between a browser and a server, preventing third-parties from eavesdropping or tampering with that data.

The Personal Touch | Readers’ Advisory


The goal of the My Librarian program at Multnomah County Library (MCL), Portland, OR, launched in April 2014, is to create a virtual space that ignites that same spark of connection and delight that patrons experience when they engage in person with library staff about books, thus building relationships and community and providing service at the patron’s point of need.

Robert J. Lackie, Advocating for the Advocates


While it’s not always part of the job description, trustees should think of themselves as marketers for their library. Advocacy is about more than just a positive attitude. Creative Library Marketing and Publicity: Best Practices, (Rowman & Littlefield, September 18), coedited by Robert J. Lackie and M. Sandra Wood, offers successful marketing campaigns and promotional methods from libraries of all types and sizes.

The Human Network | The Digital Shift

Photo ©2015 Shawn G. Henry

The librarians who are thriving most consistently in the digital era are those who have found a way to operate as a node in a network of libraries and librarians. They are agents of change, actively creating the future instead of constantly reacting to it—or worse, resisting it.

Planning Your Library Vote | Trustees Corner

Libby Post of Communication Services

Resistance from taxpayers. Reluctance from board members. Friends not ready to be advocates. It’s no secret: waging a successful budget/funding vote, building referendum, or redistricting campaign can be challenging for any library.

ALA Ethnic Affiliates Form Joint Council of Librarians of Color

JCLC president Jerome Offord Jr.

Five ethnic affiliates of the American Library Association (ALA) have joined together to form the Joint Council of Librarians of Color, Inc. (JCLC), a nonprofit organization that will work for the common needs of its members. JCLC is comprised of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA,) and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. While each of the affiliates will continue as separate entities, advocating for library and literacy issues within their individual constituencies, JCLC will “promote librarianship within communities of color, support literacy and the preservation of history and cultural heritage, collaborate on common issues, and…host the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color,” according to a statement issued June 8.

Susan Schmidt: United for Libraries—Being Seen, Being Heard

Susan Schmidt

Over the years, the American Library Association (ALA) has hosted a number of divisions that support citizen-run library organizations. Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) joined forces with the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) in 2009 to form the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), which is now known as United for Libraries (UFL). Susan Schmidt, immediate past president of Friends of the Little Falls Library and media assistant, Wood Acres Elementary School (both in Bethesda, MD), was elected 2015–16 UFL vice president/president elect in May 2015.