With the recent economic downturn, we are experiencing firsthand its effect on our libraries, our lives, and our communities. WebJunction recently began hosting a series of virtual “Town Halls” on the general subject of tough times, staff training, and now a session focused specifically on how tough times impact Spanish speakers and our outreach efforts to that community. Update: The archive of this session is available: Town Hall on SLO in Tough Times. This new webinar format is designed to encourage participation from all attendees. Please come to this one-hour session prepared to ask and answer questions, share stories, brainstorm solutions, and offer practical advice. Bring your challenges and ideas, and we’ll tackle them together in the town hall—and in the coming year through additional webinars, resource sharing and learning on WebJunction.
Thanks to all who gathered for yesterday’s town hall, the first in our Economic Tough Times focus for the month. We’ll be gathering again on December 12 and December 18 to keep tackling the issues and experimenting with this exciting new format, the virtual town hall.
We started the session with a poll to decide which areas to discuss, and as you can see from the poll’s results, the topic is *huge* and the group wanted to discuss just about everything related to libraries in economic tough times:
We did try to focus on the top 3 poll winners (hottest topic: Demonstrating Impact), but as you can imagine there was plenty of overlap, because you can’t talk about funding without talking about how to demonstrate your value to funders and taxpayers, and you can’t talk about staff training without talking about increased demands on staff. You can view the archive, a new pathfinder, and lots of discussions on these hot topics in a brand new Group: Tough Times. The town hall was just the beginning of the discussion and community building around the topic, so be sure to join the group and jump in with your own questions and strategies.
I’ve started 3 discussions myself with these excellent questions from the first town hall:
We got some great feedback on how to tweak the format for next time, namely that we need to focus the topics, but everyone was very excited to see that the format works well and we can look forward to future WebJunction Virtual Town Halls on topics that are important to you! See you at the next Town Hall…