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.


14 thoughts on “Libraries Are Powerful Partners

  1. 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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s