In 2010, as deputy manager of the Carson City, NV, Office of Business Development, Tammy Westergard was exploring ideas for a property formerly occupied by the Nugget casino. At the same time, Carson City Library director Sara Jones was involved in a strategic planning process for a new downtown branch. The two joined forces, developing an ambitious public-private partnership for a 65,000 square foot library. Westergard, with no previous library experience, became deputy library director.
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 Freedom to Read Foundation and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are joining forces to offer an online graduate-level course “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” for library and information science students around the country held August 26–October 10.
The library profession’s advocacy efforts have had very little impact. Why we have not addressed this obvious problem more aggressively is a mystery. Of course, there have been some successes, especially at the local level. They have been good enough to show us that the great reservoir of public support for public libraries is still full and can be tapped. Still, the profession simply has not found a way to tap that public support to influence the political process.