LSJ Editors' Blog: Leslie Burger's 10 tips for librarians

14 November 2006

Leslie Burger's 10 tips for librarians

ALA President Leslie Burger visited the University at Buffalo recently, giving an inspiring talk titled "Be a Transformative Librarian."

Photo at left courtesy of Jenn Graham. Click for more.

Her positive and forward-thinking attitude were wonderfully refreshing. The usual doom and gloom was conspicuously absent as she reminded us that libraries can and are still having a positive influence on their communities. Her examples of ways various libraries are maintaining relevance and using technology to their advantage were spot on. And I especially liked her focus on ACTIVE involvement in community discussion: at her own library, the Princeton Public Library, for instance, they stayed open late on election night to follow the results, and had a political expert on hand to answer questions; and at Salt Lake City Public Library they host a Freedom Forum series to lead discussions on hot button issues.

Jenn at Jennimi has a very good description of the event so I wont rehash here. Burger's ten tips for librarians, as summarized by Jenn is below:

10 Tips for Librarians:

  1. Be passionate! Be a cheerleader for libraries!
  2. Think “all community all the time”
  3. Walk on the wild side (take risks) - challenge the status quo, ask why? give someone in your organization the title of Chief Innovator (how do we apply?? Mark, you in?)
  4. “400,000 smiling faces”. Hire for attitude as well as skills
  5. Develop leadership at every level – it’s everybody’s job (not just Provost, Dean, Chair, but everybody!)
  6. Become an activist
  7. Embrace change – change is the one thing in life that’s constant
  8. Invest in the basics (2nd most important according to Ms. Burger) – need GREAT websites, catalogs that make sense - that look like how people want them to look! Need buildings that work!!!!! Patrons can go to Barnes and Noble and have coffee, why not the library? Need great collections, need funding that matters! can’t allow ourselves to be victimized by our vendors anymore
  9. Play well together – collaborateinvolve all key stake holders – this takes a lot of work
  10. “Keep everlastingly at it” (John Cotton Dana)


Anonymous jennimi said...

Eli, thanks for the link! It was great to see so many faces at this historic event for our local library community. Thanks, also, to the students at our UB ALA chapter for working so hard to make this happen. I hope everyone bought one of the cool tee-shirts ("Jack of all trades.... Master of Library Science") to help support future events like these. -jenn


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