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  • Advocacy, Online Collaboration, Question of the Week

    QOTW: Libraries Linked to Economic Development?

    June 24th, 2008 | Permalink | Comments Off

    Question of the WeekAs most of you know, we run a pretty regular weekly question feature over on WebJunction.org. Most of the questions come from our discussion forums. Elevation to QOTW status comes for many reasons, but central idea is to give attention to questions that will generate community enrichment via discussion while (of course) providing an answer the original question.

    This week’s question breaks a trend by coming in through a BlogJunction comment. We’ve often pitched the blog as another place for folks to ask their WJ questions, but hardly anyone takes us up on it. Maybe along with all the other changes we’ve got going, we’re going to some new blog trends, too.

    Anyway, on with the question. RoseAleta asks:

    I’m trying to find a quote to use for a City Council presentation about how libraries contribute to economic development. It seems I’ve read this any number of times that businesses and homebuyers look for “quality of life” as much as job income, etc. in making a decision to re-locate.”

    I’m sure the WJ community is loaded with great ideas for helping RoseAleta (and if you aren’t I’d love to hear that, too. Maybe we can get together and commission a report!). I know my library adds a huge value to the community, but you can’t quote me because I’m not running a multinational corporation.

    If you’ve have thoughts to share on the matter, please respond to the question in the WebJunction advocacy discussion forum or here in the blog.

  • Advocacy, Trustees

    Trustee Tips: Serving your community. If you don’t measure it, you can’t grade it!

    May 30th, 2008 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    by Patricia H. Fisher

    Pat FisherLibrary boards and the library director are responsible for seeing that community needs are addressed by providing library services that are well-planned and that fulfill the library’s half of the social contract—making a difference in stakeholders’ lives in return for taxpayer funding. It’s in the job description!

    But how to go about it?

    Start with a “Give ‘Em What They Want!” philosophy

    • Conduct a community needs assessment as the first step in periodic strategic and market planning.
    • Focus on programs and services which meet community needs.
    • Write program or service goals as statements of benefits that members of the community will receive.
    • State the objectives, which are measurements that will be used to determine the progress made toward the goals.


    One way of measuring is to have “benchmarks,” which are sometimes called “standards,” for comparisons. Georgia has operating and primary standards, to evaluate its public libraries. The standards describe essential, full and optimal levels of service in enough narrative detail to allow boards and directors to determine where their libraries fall on the continuum. (more…)

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