Libraries Are Powerful Partners

Powerful PartnersNow start acting like it.

I spent much of the last two weeks dealing with the issue of libraries and digital literacy. There were a great many meetings and conversations and discussions. Too many to blog and some off the record. I also spent most of the last week at the Annual ALA conference in Anaheim attending a variety of meetings. In the end my take away from all this comes down to one simple thing –

Libraries are Powerful Partners. Now start acting like it.

Powerful partners:

  • contribute
  • share
  • bring something to the table
  • show up at the party even when they aren’t the belle of the ball
  • realize that there are many stakeholders
  • offer support for initiatives and ideas they didn’t think of
  • are not defensive or hostile
  • are team players even when they can’t be leaders
  • contribute to the success of others
  • don’t insist on doing things “my way”

If we can start doing this we can show others (non librarians) how attractive libraries are as partners. We are the place where all literacies meet. We are at the intersection of a fast and significant change in the types of literacies needs of our patrons. We are better positioned than almost anyone to meet these changing needs.  We need to be innovative instead of reactionary, welcoming instead of defensive and big picture thinkers. Instead of asking others what they can do for us, we need to start asking others what we can do for them. Because is the truth is we can do a lot. In the end we all want the same thing – to contribute to the success of our patrons and customers.



  1. I love this post! We are trying to spread just that message here in Pennsylvania with the PA FORWARD initiative. What a powerful take away!


    1. Thank you Bonnie! I’ll be sure to look more closely ay PA FORWARD.


  2. […] was thrilled to read Bobbi Newman’s post today over at Librarian by Day, Libraries are Powerful Partners. I encourage you to read it, […]


  3. Excellent advice. There are so many that need to hear this.


    1. Thank you Tamara. I agree let’s just hope they are listening! 🙂


  4. […] you can’t just phone it in.  As the post Libraries are Powerful Partners from the Librarian By Day blog states so eloquently:  “Libraries are Powerful Partners. Now […]


  5. […] Bobbi Newman and her brilliant post. Go and read it now. And start acting like the powerful partner that you are. Share […]


  6. […] – Powerful Partners…07.02.12 2 07 2012 From Libraries Are Powerful Partners by Bobbi Newman (Librarian by […]


  7. Nicely said, Bobbi. I’ve always believed that libraries should head the table, not just sit at it (although if a seat is all that is available at the moment, take it!). The more libraries become visible as apt partners, resource sharers, knowledge centers, service providers (there’s more on this list!), the more others will stand up and be a part of what libraries can offer communities. Convene, inspire, LEAD!


    1. Exactly Sarah! The first step to showing we are capable leaders is showing we’re desirable partners!


  8. […] declaración de principios,sugerente y firme, la podéis leer en el post original en inglés. Nos hemos permitido una pequeña adaptación e insistimos en una frase que nos parece reveladora: […]


  9. Dusty · · Reply

    Well said!


  10. […] B.  (2012, June 28) Libraries are powerful partners. Librarian by […]


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