“My Life in the Library – I will continue to fight for libraries”

Von Kathy Dempsey of Medford, New Jersey, USA
Arbeitsstelle und Beruf
Consultant / Inhaberin der Seite Libraries Are Essential
Herausgeberin des Newsletters Marketing Library Services
Herausgeberin des Newsletters derNew Jersey Library Association newsletter

1. How long are you a member of the library circus? (eg, the first library experience, first job in the library, etc.)?

I have had a long and satisfying library life, even though I do not have a library degree.

I used the library a lot in grade school. While in high school, I joined a club of students who worked in the library, learning and helping the librarian. When I was a college student, again, I got a job working in the university library. When I graduated with my degree in Journalism, I took a paraprofessional job in the library immediately, working there until I found a job in the journalism field.

2. What has driven you, just look for / accept a job in the library area? (your motivation)?

After college, I had jobs in both journalism and other libraries. Then in 1994, a friend told me about a job posting she saw for a publishing company called Learned Information, Inc. Everything it published was for and about libraries. It was an “a-ha!” moment. I had found my dream job, combining my journalism degree and my years of library experience. Now it is 2012 and I work there still (the company is now named Information Today, Inc.: http://www.infotoday.com).

3. What were and are your responsibilities and what has your opinion changed as most clearly?

I spent many years as the editor of Computers in Libraries magazine, and even more years as the editor of the Marketing Library Services newsletter (MLS).

In this job, the more I learned about libraries, the more I realized they needed help with marketing and promotion. Up until the 1990s, libraries were just about the only places that held information. But when the public started getting their own computers and internet access, people began to believe that they could replaces libraries. Not true! As the editor of MLS, which covers libraries around the world, I saw the battles beginning. Local governments thought they could close libraries to save money. Even universities and corporations thought they could reduce or close their libraries. Suddenly, marketing and public relations were essential to keep libraries open. As one of few experts in the field, people began calling on me to speak at conferences and to help them learn how to promote their value. My love and understanding of libraries, going back to childhood, motivated me to help fight for them.

Eventually, I resigned from Computers in Libraries magazine so I could work on library marketing full time. I still edit the MLS newsletter for Information Today, and I formed my own business, called Libraries Are Essential (LAE). I even wrote a book, The Accidental Library Marketer, for people who did not intend to do marketing work but are now trying to learn how. I travel around the US (and to other countries), giving workshops, speaking at conferences, and helping to write marketing plans. I love what I do, and I feel it is very important work, keeping libraries open. All around the world, I read of budgets being cut and of people who think libraries don’t matter in the age of the internet. This is so very wrong. In the information age, people need the expertise and tools of librarians more than ever.

The public simply does not understand that typing a word into Google and getting 1,000 results is not “research” and that the results may not be trustworthy. They don’t like asking for help. They think they can find everything on the internet. The paradox is, as we say in the US, “People don’t know what they don’t know.” They do not realize how much information they are missing.

4. What kind of role does Social Media play in your life? What does it offer for your work?

In my LAE business, I work at home, so social media is vital to me. It lets me reach people through my blog (The M Word: Marketing Libraries at http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/) and my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LibrariesAreEssential). It lets me find stories from around the world, constantly update my knowledge, and work with colleagues overseas. To teach people in places I cannot reach, I can give webinars—speeches online for library groups everywhere. And LinkedIn helps more people to discover me and my services (http://www.linkedin.com/in/kathydempsey), and it helps me connect with people who can write articles about their own marketing projects.

My complete library story is here, on my website:
There are many other resources there to help you.

5. What priorities will emerge for the future development/evolution for your job?

My hope is that my work can help all types of libraries, everywhere, to keep funding, to stay relevant, to stay open. I want everyone to realize that libraries are still essential, today more than ever. I will continue to fight for libraries because I know they help society move forward by storing and sharing the world’s knowledge. What other job could possibly be more important?

Lang leben die Bibliotheken!


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Ein Vortrag von Maureen Sawa zum Thema “Doing it YOUR Way: The Public Library and You” (TEDxMilZero)

Maureen Sawa ist Bibliothekarin, Gewinnerin mehrerer Preise und Leiterin der Greater Victoria Public Library (Kanada). Außerdem ist Sawa Autori zweier Bücher (‘The Library Book’ und ‘Car Smarts’) und war bereits auf vielen Konferenzen als Rednerin eingeladen. Ihr Vortrag ‘12 Habits of Highly Successful Librarians‘ machte sie in Kanada und den USA bekannt.


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“Sponsor a Librarian”

Ähnlich wie Ärzte ohne Grenzen oder Reporter ohne Grenzen gibt es auch im bibliothekarischen Bereich einen Zusammenschluss von BibliothekarInnen zu “Librarians without Borders“. Die Bibliothekare ohne Grenzen rufen zu einer Spendenaktion für die Miguel Angel Asturias Academy Library in Xela, Guatemala auf.

Auf der Seite “Sponsor a Librarian: The Asturias Librarian Stipend Fund” können Sie mit Paypal eine(n) BibliothekarIn für einen Tag bis einen Monat sponsern oder eine Summe nach eigener Wahl schenken.

Die Bibliothek der MAAAL übernimmt beratende Tätigkeiten. Die Spenden sollen einer Stelle zugute kommen, welche dann die Möglichkeit schafft

[…] to offer services, programs, and to train teachers, community members and students on library operations

Durch die gesponserte Stelle soll auch weiterhin die Bibliothek der Asturias Academy offen gehalten und Informationskompetenz vermittelt werden. Eine gute Ausbildung gerade auch in diesem Bereich ist nicht selbstverständlich in Guatemala. Über 75% der Bevölkerung sind so arm, dass sie keine Bücher kaufen können und viele Kinder müssen arbeiten. Die Ausstattung der Schulen ist schlecht.

This year, Guatemalan public schools were only able to supply math books to 6th graders, leaving all other students without books to study.

Die Asturia Library ermöglich den Studierenden der Academy, ihren Familien und der Gesellschaft Zugang zu Büchern und Internetressourcen. Dies ist der beste Weg, um bessere Bildungschancen und damit auch ein besseres Einkommen zu erzielen. Nur so lässt sich der Teufelskreis der Armut durchbrechen.

Access to a library can cause a ripple effect in the community by fostering a life long love of reading and increase in literacy among the next generation of Guatemalans.

Aufmerksam geworden über:
Guatemala: Spendenaktion “Sponsor a Librarian”, Nachrichten für Öffentliche Bibliotheken in NRW

Mehr dazu:
Sponsor a Librarian: The Asturias Librarian Stipend Fund, Librarians Without Borders


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Die “Teen Tech Week” 2012 (TTW) von YALSA: Geek Out @ your library

Derzeit (04.03.-10-03.2012) findet  die “Teen Tech Week” in den USA statt. Interessierte öffentliche (Schul-) – und Stadtbibliotheken können sich daran beteiligen. Im folgenden Video erklärt die Präsidentin von YALSA, Sarah Flowers, was es mit der “Teen Tech Week” auf sich hat.

“Teen Tech Week is a national initiative aimed at teens, librarians, educators, parents, and other concerned adults meant to encourage teens to take advantage of libraries’ nonprint resources. The 2011 theme — Mix and Mash @ your library — focuses on encouraging teens to use library resources to express their creativity by developing their own unique online content and safely sharing it by using online collaborative tools. It also positions the library as a place for safe exploration of the many types of technology available at libraries, including DVDs, music, gaming, video production, online homework help, social networking, tech workshops, audiobooks and more.”


Internetbasierte Tools, wie Facebook, Instant Messenger und Smartphoneappplikationen sind Teil der Kultur und der Freizeit von Teenagern geworden. Schulbibliotheken und öffentliche kommunale Bibliotheken öffnen derzeit noch bis 10. März ihre Türen, um insbesondere Jugendlichen im Teenageralter moderne Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien in den jeweiligen Bibliotheken näher zu bringen. Dabei geht es auch darum die “digital literacy skills” vieler Jugendlichen zu verbessern, indem Digitale Medienworkshops, E-books, Datenbanken, einer Online-Hausaufgabenhilfe und Gaming-Wettbewerben angeboten werden.

In diesem Jahr steht die Teen Tech Week unter dem Motto Geek Out @ your library. Jugendliche und Bibliothekar_innen werden zusammenarbeiten, um sich ihren eigenen und einzigartigen Webtechnologiecontent zu schaffen. Außerdem wird den Jugendlichen beigebracht wie sie “ethical users” ihrer Informations- und Kommunikatonstechnologien werden können. Eine Vielzahl von Studien hat gezeigt, dass bei einer Mehrheit von jungen Menschen, welche sie ihre Lieblingssongs aus dem Internet herunterladen oder Instant Messaging-Dienste mit ihren Freunden zusammen nutzen, dass es an kritischem Denken und an Informationskompetenz mangelt. Gemäß einer Pew Internet-Studie, gaben 70 Prozent der befragten Jugendlichen an, dass sie Ratschläge zum Thema Internetsicherheit von Lehrer_innen oder einem anderen Erwachsenen in der Schule erhielten. Laut Sarah Flowers sind sich die Bibliothekar_innen dort weitesgehend einig, welche wichtige Rolle Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien für Teenager spielen:

“Libraries and librarians recognize that technology plays an important part in a teen’s life. […] Education is the key to safe and ethical use of the Web and other technologies, and librarians are uniquely suited to provide teens and their families with the knowledge they need.”

Viele Teenager in den USA bewerten Bibliotheken als  “technology hubs”, die einen Zugang zu Experten gewähren: Bibliothekar_Innen
Das U.S. National Crime Prevention Council fand heraus, dass 43 % der Jugendlichen in den USA bereits Opfer von Cyberbullying-Attacken im letzten Jahr wurden. Wie hoch sind die Zahlen in Deutschland und was konkret unternehmen Schulen, Bibliotheken und Eltern dagegen? Die öffentliche  Briggs Lawrence County (Ohio) Bibliothek wird Teenagern Informationsveranstaltungen zum Thema Cyberbullying anbieten und St. Johns (Fla.) County Public Library wird Internetsicherheitsworkshops anbieten, um den Jugendlichen zu zeigen, wie diese sich online besser schützen können.
Außerdem wird es im Rahmen der Teen Tech week in manchen Bibliotheken ein Geek Olympics Wettbewerb geben. Jugendliche werden in folgenden Disziplinen gegeneinander antreten: einem Suchmaschinenwettbewerb, Webseitenerstellungswettkampf, ein unknackbares Passwort und eine digitale Pinwand zu entwickeln usw.
Partner, Förderer und Sponsoren der diesjährigen “Teen Tech Week” sind ALA Graphics, Audio Publishers Association, AudioGO, Figment.com, Hackasaurus, Peachtree Publishers und Tutor.com.

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[Zitat] Unkommentiert – 2011

When a library is staffed by a professional, it becomes the most far-reaching service in the school, nurturing the rich and poor, the literate and those learning to be literate, the athlete, the musician, the class clown and the class artist. The school library is often a gathering place and safe haven for students. It is a service for which every person on campus benefits. […] Library programs need the public’s support now more than ever. We cannot afford to lose the academic enrichment that a library brings to a school community. Please urge your congressional representatives to restore the federal budget for libraries in the coming year. Restored funding would go to improving literacy through school libraries, a Department of Education program to update books, materials and other important school library programs. Let’s choose to be a literate society.”

Pam Muñoz Ryan


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Von John Dolan

Library Camp 2011 took place in Birmingham, England on 8 October – like a spontaneous outburst of thinking and enthusiasm. Though termed an “unconference” it was in fact a well-organised, lightly structured event of 173 participants (2 didn’t make it on the day)!

Jo McCausland (@libraryjmac) was inspired by a Local Government Camp a year earlier to set this up: a good venue; email and twitter announcements; Sponsorship (essential if admission is free and not easy to find at present!). It was fully booked online in 21 hours – yes!

There was a fantastic mix of library and information practitioners from all backgrounds plus people active in related fields like theatre and media. After (yes) everyone introduced themselves (who I am; why I’m here) people “pitched” to lead a session on a subject of their choice.

With 45 minutes for each session across 7 rooms there were 35 discussion groups through the day with multiple additional chances to network and make friends. Everything from the day is on the web.

There will surely be a #libcampuk 2012!

Worth mentioning that after an early humourous reference to cake many – many! – people brought cake to share. Look at the pictures!

Some of the sessions I attended or found the notes and links valuable include the following:

Transition: There is little investment in managing the transition between school and university. Learners are rarely able to transfer skills from one stage in education to the next; how librarians can help teachers and learners provide continuity so each stage in education builds on the previous. This applies to all stages in the education system. Librarians can work with teachers and students at all stages of education, avoiding waste and gaining more. Above all, embed the learning skills into the curriculum; learning skills are not “an extra” they are essential to education: http://intothehobbithole.blogspot.com/2011/10/libcampuk11-session-1-managing.html

Several areas of innovation discussions included Games and Gamification, Mobile apps (maybe more questions than answers but useful links), libraries without buildings, creative commons, open-source software, representing the most incredible opportunity for strategic library cooperation. A session on library philosophy reminds us of the many reasons we are here.

A Special Collections session was interesting. Early in the notes they referred to the fate of special collections as seeming like a private resource for the few. Much of the session was therefore about increasing accessibility. This was a key issue for me and a key purpose of creating the Library of Birmingham: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/lob. Immense special collections are unknown to most but the expert; but it’s not just about display it is about actively interpreting their relevance in a modern diverse city community and projecting those collections globally.

Several linked and overlapping themes included Partnership, working with Stakeholders, Embedded Librarianship, Social Networking, Information Literacy, Social Change et al. Together these highlighted the centrality of libraries and their potential for other institutions and to the rest of society.

Useful contacts? Notes from most discussions have useful links. Or, follow #uklibchat led by and for library & information students and new librarians. Meets on twitter every Thursday 6 – 8pm. Each week there’s a topic to discuss. Older librarians can contribute on what’s happened before to inform progress or avoid reinventing the wheel.

Links that should be of interest.

John Dolan OBE

E. john@dolan205.force9.co.uk

  1. Twitter. @johnrdolan

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Der Gewinner des "Libraries Change Lives Award" 2011: Das "Making A Difference project" der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Kent

Am Ende der Umbrella Konferenz an der Universität Hatfield, wurden zum 19. Mal der “Libraries Change Lives Award”  2011 verliehen. Der Autor Alan Gibbons übernahm die Laudatio und Preisübergabe. Die Öffentlichen Bibliotheken in Kent erhielten den ersten Preis für ihr “Making A Difference project”. Weitere Anwärter auf den Preis waren folgende Bibliotheken mit ihren Programmen:

Beim “Making A Difference project” handelt es sich um ein Programm, dass sich an Erwachsene mit Lernschwierigkeiten und Lernbehinderungen richtet. Es ist bedürfnisorientiert angelegt und ermöglicht diesen Menschen mehr Teilhabe innherhalb ihrer Communities. Das Projekt wird auf der Webseite des CILIP genauer beschrieben:

“Making the Difference arose out of Kent Libraries and Archives’s desire to make sure that its services for adults with learning disabilities were helping to integrate them in everyday life. The project sought to better understand the needs of adults with learning disabilities, their carers and support workers, and provide new opportunities, experiences and skills to encourage independence and fun. 721 adults with learning disabilities have taken part in library activities since April 2010. These have included creating an information library, staffed by adults with learning disabilities employed as paid librarians; placing Easy Access collections of books and DVDs chosen by adults with learning disabilities in 12 town centre libraries; providing volunteering and work experience opportunities, and holding regular Biblio Hour and Coffee and Chat sessions. A highlight of the project was a “Putting On the Ritz” 1920s fashion evening. “

» Weiterlesen


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"The Librarian Militant, The Librarian Triumphant": Ein Vortrag von R. David Lankes

Basierend auf dem heutigen Zitat von Melvil Dewey, hielt David Lankes im letzten Jahr auf dem  “NEXT: A Library Futures Symposium” in Alberta (Kanada) einen Vortrag.

» Weiterlesen


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[Zitat] Unkommentiert – 2011

Public libraries have lost their capacity to educate by not keeping up with trends…nor has anyone come up with a proper way of measuring their efficiency. One of the ways libraries should be used is as a place of learning for those who struggle with literacy. Local authorities are cutting adult education and ploughing money into crime prevention, but libraries are the perfect place not only to teach people of all ages information literacy. Older people tend to think of the young as necessarily ‘whizzy’ with new technology, but actually they are often not that good at managing information. They don’t know how to filter out good information from bad, differentiating a blog from a well-supported comment. Using existing libraries as community centres or ‘ideas stores’ as they have styled them in London’s Tower Hamlets, is the shape of the future, with lifelong learning, homework and children’s libraries all important parts of their service.”

Ronan O’Beirne (Autor des Buches “From Lending to Learning – The Development and Extension of Public Libraries” aus dem Jahr 2010)


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Vorstellung eines iPad-Pilotprojekts der Stadtbibliothek Houston für Kinder im Alter zwischen 2-6 Jahren

“You’re never too young to give an iPad a try”

Allan Turner am 28. 01. 2011 im Houston Chronicle

Vor etwa 10 Tagen startete die Stadtbibliothek Houston ein Pilotprojekt. Kinder im Alter zwischen 2 und 6 Jahren erhielten iPads, welche sie im Kinder- und Jugendbereich (ohne Internetverbindung) der Bibliothek für eine Stunde nutzen können. Der Verleih setzt voraus, dass die Kinder von einer mindestens 14-jährigen Person begleitet werden. Die iPads sind eine Ergänzung zu den Desktop-Computern gedacht, die sich in der Kinderabteilung der Bibliothek befinden. Sandy Farmer, die für diesen Bereich der Bibliothek verantwortlich ist, meinte hierzu Folgendes:

“An iPad is interactive. You touch it, you turn it and it does things. Kids understand this very well. here are tons of apps out there for young children — alphabet, colors, maps – some of them are really cool. … It’s an opportunity for kids to sit down and learn in a unique way.”

Sandy Farmer hat für dieses Projekt das Blog “Library iPads for Kids” eingerichtet, wo alle Fortschritte und Erfahrungen dokumentiert werden. Außerdem werden Apps vorgestellt und bewertet.

Falls dieses Pilotprojekt gut angenommen wird und erfolgreicht ist, wird die Bibliothek diesen Service auf andere Stadtteilbibliotheken im Herbst diesen Jahres und 2012 ausdehnen. Sara McNeil, eine Professorin für  Bildungsforschung der Universität Houston, nannte das iPad eine “ideale” Erfindung für Kinder und meinte hierzu:

“Even children as young as 12 months should be able to use the devices. Young children are very tactile creatures. If you look at an iPad, there are many connections that are symbiotic. It works entirely on touch. It starts almost instantly and responds almost instantly. […] Through the use of iPads, children, in essence, can teach themselves. There are so many applications that I think the Houston Public Library will be able to find and put on iPads. I think it will be a great aid to literacy and mathematical development — all kinds of things that will help these children.”


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