Responses to input on new Statewide Plan from Library Systems

The Questions

The Responses


2020 Visioning Process: Key Questions for the Library and Education Communities

  1. What are the two most important roles of libraries today?  What will they be in the future?  How will libraries fulfill these future roles?
  2. What are the greatest challenges libraries will face over the next 10 years?  What assets and resources do libraries have that can overcome these challenges?  What are the barriers that will prevent libraries from meeting these challenges?
  3. How can library service be extended to those currently not using libraries?  How do we engage community members in connecting their needs to libraries?
  4. What will be the most important roles of school libraries in the future?  What will increase the visibility and relevance of school libraries?
  5. How can academic libraries be more integral to their own institution’s community? Is there a role for academic libraries beyond the campus?  If so, what is that role?
  6. What can public libraries do to ensure their survival?  How can they better serve their communities?
  7. What will be the most important roles of special and research libraries in the future?  What will increase the visibility and relevance of special and research libraries?
  8. What are the greatest challenges facing New York State’s library systems over the next 10 years?  What are the assets and resources library systems will need to meet these challenges?
  9. How can the State Library and the State Education Department help libraries position themselves to successfully meet the needs of all New Yorkers for library services in 2020 and beyond?
  10. What will be the impact on libraries with the rapid growth of commercial information sources like streaming video, iTunes, and e-books?  How can libraries prosper in a Digital Age?

Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES SLS

Question 1: There are so many varying information formats that I feel the Librarian is the key to unraveling these many complex avenues to reliable information. “Libraries Without Walls” via the internet is certainly one way to make access to the public friendly and easy. Interlibrary Loaning will continue to be very important especially with tight budgets. Aiding patrons on database and online searching strategies will become increasingly important... There are so many places to get information that it seems that patrons need help to find and reach good sources rather than relying solely on Google. However, we need to keep instructing and reminding our patrons of the rich array of reliable resources.

Provide materials of interest to students and staff. Instruct students in the use of the library to become independent users. More technology focused in the future. Libraries will have to be proficient in the use of technology in order to meet their client’s need.

Question 2: A good deep collection of books is still very important. We as librarians need to be flexible and sensitive to patron’s changing needs. Budgets and staffing will be the greatest challenges over the next 10 years. Research and documentation may help combat these challenges. The barriers will be the school’s bottom line for spending and the state requirements which do not mandate elementary school librarians.

Question 3: Public relations will be playing an ever greater role in informing, reminding and educating the public about what we have to offer. I do think that the importance of Libraries is still foremost in the minds of the public. We still need to retain our important role in a democratic society. We must keep educating patrons and possible patrons to our array of resources. I do think the online access is our future gateway. Interlibrary loan through online services makes it so easy for patron use. Make getting a library card and pin number easier—even online especially if a property owner in a community who is paying taxes for the library’s existence. Maybe providing a drivers license would be a way to provide ID information. Removing hurdles and being responsive to access is very important. Also libraries must offer diverse programs that have interest to all patrons.

Question 4: Constantly teaching students and working with teachers about the array of information resources that we have to offer. I do a presentation every year to faculty and students about the existing databases and electronic resources but if they do not use the resources very often they forget. Ongoing and relevant education is a must.

School libraries are always going to be about meeting the needs of your clientele. Whatever they may be at the time. Programming…services….making yourselves indispensible so that it’s out of the question to consider budget/staff reductions

Question 5: n/a

Question 6: n/a

Question 7: n/a

Question 8: Certainly funding is the greatest hurdle. Library Systems need to continue in their fine role of essential support to all the Libraries and Librarians. With all the rapid changes in our field that support from Library Systems is most important if we are to stay current and responsive to our patrons changing needs. We need to strive for fast, up-to-date, and user friendly services and providing services to all socio-economic patrons. We also need to lobby our legislators and have our patrons do so also.

Decrease in budgets, programming and ILL services. Members of the systems being vocal about keeping/maintaining existing programming… while envisioning new programs for patrons.

Question 9: Collaboration is the name of the game in the School and Academic settings. We need to be responsive to the curriculum needs of the faculty and we need to get them involved in the acquisition process. One thing I have always felt that would help libraries in the school setting is to require teachers to take at least one Library Information Studies Course as one component of their education preparation (an Ed. Class). This would familiarize the faculty with our many offerings and heighten their awareness of the use our databases and fine resources that can support their curriculum. This would in turn lead to a positive and heightened awareness for students. We have a teacher on our staff that took a credit course, Senior Thesis, many years ago that was co-instructed by the Librarian and an English teacher. She is one of the best instructors and users of the resources that our Library program offers. However, even she, who is not a digital native, strugles to use our electronic resources to their fullest. We need to educate from many directions.

MONEY…BEING ADVOCATES FOR LIBRARY PROGRAMMING AND SERVICES

Question 10: We must provide the digital information and make it easier for patrons to access information. Keep the hurdles few and low. Librarians need to continue offering services in all formats, electronic and paper. Also, librarians must collaborate with teachers in all curriculum areas.

FEWER BOOKS…BUDGET REDUCTIONS…ALWAYS BE ONE STEP AHEAD OF YOUR CLIENTS SO THEY FEEL WE CAN MEET THEIR NEEDS IN WHATEVER AGE WERE LIVING IN.

[These responses were developed by the School Librarians in the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES]


Finger Lakes Library System

Question 1:

A. Important roles of libraries today:

  • Providers of free resources – educational, cultural, and leisure.
  • A Community Center; for all economic statuses.
  • Authenticator of information.
  • Promote literacy for all ages and a life-long love of learning through books, non-print materials, and programs that are appealing and educational.
  • Place to access information, technology and e-services.
  • Early childhood, information, and digital literacy

B. Future roles:

  • The technology go-to-place; providing access, training and connectivity.
  • Provide access to a wide variety of digital media; electronic books in particular.
  • Increased training programs related to job seeking, employment, etc.

C. How will libraries fulfill these future roles:

  • By providing educated, professional employees, adjusting budgets to reflect patron interests and needs and finding new channels to communicate with the community via marketing.
  • By staying up-to-date with technology trends and providing a place where people of all ages will want to come to learn a wide variety of skills, be it learning to use a new device, craft or communication with community members.
  • Increased collaboration with other agencies. Creating a strong local community base and instilling a commitment for the community to support their library.
  • Staying abreast of current trends in technology related to library services and providing access to the patrons.

Question 2:

A. Greatest challenges to libraries:

  • The uncertain economic climate and consequently, having the resources (trained staff, etc.) necessary to serve their community effectively.
  • Budget cuts and choosing which technologies are critical and most helpful to the public.
  • State and local funding deficits and staying current with how the public wants to receive information, books and resources.
  • Obtaining financial support needed to stay up-to-date.
  • People’s perception of libraries – need a better understanding of how much time and funding is necessary to maintain standards.
  • Maintaining staff training and comfort level with evolving technology.
  • Underfunded library system.

B. Assets and Resources:

  • Currently, the greatest asset our rural libraries have is the library system, which assists libraries with not only the tools for resource sharing such as a shared ILS and delivery services, but the professionals to assist them in staying up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends in library service. In order to remain relevant, our libraries need not only healthy funding for themselves, but a stable, well-funded library system.
  • Philosophy of librarians – go the extra mile!
  • Technology grants.
  • A skilled library staff with knowledge and ongoing education in current best practices in public libraries.
  • A strong and vibrant library system which provides continuing education for library staff in best practices in technology and “consumer” trends in public libraries and concentrate on innovative and creative solutions to problems as they occur.
  • Increased sharing of successful problem solving ideas throughout the public libraries of the state.

C. Barriers:

  • Economic downturn for communities and residents.
  • Access to affordable high bandwidth internet.
  • Unfunded mandates; need to keep mandates affordable to the community.
  • Money, time/staff to accomplish necessary tasks, and fear of failure and taking risks.
  • Staying stuck in old methods, old thinking, and old ways of meeting patron needs.
  • Community Awareness of library services and benefits.

Question 3:

  • The best way to connect to those non-library users in the community – whether by choice or inability to get to the library – is through outreach. Library staff needs to go out into their communities to see who’s out there and what services are needed. Additionally, being a ‘virtual library’, where a patron doesn’t need to come into the library at all – through downloadable audio/eBooks, databases – makes the library accessible to those who can’t get into the physical building.
  • Provide free or low-cost programs that are creative and appealing to the interests and needs of the community through creative partnerships—e.g. with school systems, community recreation programs, etc.
  • Consistently provide programs for patrons of all ages, birth to seniors.
  • Maintain consistent publicity in a variety of formats and locations.
  • More community forums and discussions to find out what people need. We have written surveys but they did not prove very helpful. People seem to feel uncomfortable with constructive criticism because they “like” the library’s staff.
  • Outreach to college students, PTA, and local young professionals.
  • Expand volunteer programs and training – volunteers will be ambassadors for spreading the word on what the library can offer.
  • Be a part of as many community functions and groups as possible to contribute and to educate on how the library can enhance the community.
  • Recruit Trustees with a strong presence in the community.
  • Connecting community needs to libraries through adult programming. Connecting programs to what people will use at the library (don’t just offer a program and hope people come, find out what they need/want).
  • Patron driven acquisition.
  • Cross Agency cooperation and outreach.
  • Look at policies that prevent the library from serving certain groups (homeless).

Question 4: n/a

Question 5: n/a

Question 6:

  • Advocacy, marketing and branding. Libraries need to consistently, year round, send the message out to their communities that libraries are essential and in turn have community members send that same message to legislators. Adequate funding is absolutely necessary for the survival of public libraries. Attain adequate funding and enhanced or new services could be considered, but not until then.
  • Being available when people are able to take advantage of services. Be in time with the community. The more diverse the community the more diverse the library should be.
  • Look for opportunities to share resources.
  • Stay current, listen to community members ideas – stay involved with their community members. It may be helpful to work with other community organizations and find ways to work together.
  • Listen to community members and regularly survey their consumers to determine what they need from their library. Develop a close alliance with other libraries within the same governmental funding area. Provide services to a wider population such as with a county or system wide common card.
  • Provide services that the community may not have such as an online community calendar (maintained by a volunteer), youth programs that fill the gaps of schools, recreational services, and of the faith communities.

Question 7: n/a

Question 8:

  • Obtaining the funding support of NYS legislators and educating them on the value of the library systems to their constituents. Stable funding so that decisions can be made regarding what services systems are able to provide.
  • Economic stability of our member libraries and MOE repercussions.
  • Funding and staying current with technology. Keeping the systems as resources for the public libraries is imperative. Systems may need to charge fees or work with other businesses for additional income.

Question 9:

  • Library systems need better funding and need the SED to advocate for this on their behalf.
  • Keep the NYSL (DLD) web site up to date with current forms, applications, and instructions.
  • Annual report standardization so that all libraries are reporting statistics using the same criteria so that libraries can better compare and contrast. For example registered borrowers counted as a library card holder who has used the library or its online resources within the past five years.
  • Trustee term limits and on-going training and orientation sessions covering minimum standards, ED Law and other areas pertaining to governance.
  • Provide need-based funding for systems in areas that require the most help. Library systems can’t be considered a one-size-fits-all solution for all libraries in NY—in underprivileged areas, the lack of qualified member library staff places a heavier burden on the local system. Rural and underfunded areas need more support from their systems, and funding should be allocated accordingly.
  • Working to negotiate items such as the Overdrive contracts as a statewide service.
  • Adequate staffing for the DLD and consistency as a support system.
  • The state should continue to support the library systems. They also need to educate librarians and Boards about current trends and needs of library users, helping the libraries stay up-to-date.
  • Provide more outreach and advocacy. Since we cannot predict where technology will be or even educational trends in 10 years, we need to promote library’s services, opportunities, and uses. Maybe public service announcements on television, radio, or billboards.

Question 10:

  • Libraries will need to provide these services for the community and become more of a presence utilizing new technology. Libraries need to continue demonstrating their return on investment. Librarians and Boards will need to be open to change and new technology.
  • Libraries are shepherding patrons into the new technology. Therefore, they need to determine which technologies will be long-term. To assist libraries with maintaining a forward level of technology it may be necessary to implement a “Technology Grant” (similar to the Construction Grant).
  • Educate, via the library systems, the professional and non-professional staff and volunteers to be comfortable and skilled in these commercial information sources. Libraries can be a public provider of access to commercial sources of information. State library and state education department should be negotiating greatly reduced fees for access.
  • There will always be people who do not have the equipment to use the streaming information. Libraries will provide the equipment for use and knowledgeable people who can teach how to use it. Librarians know what information is authentic and which sites to avoid. Library buildings can provide training spaces for classes, tutoring, home-school students, and a non-disruptive place for taking those online classes.

Finger Lakes Library System’s summary of responses from staff and member library submissions.


Jefferson-Lewis BOCES School Library System

Question 1:

1.A. Equity of access to information

Teaching users how to evaluate the quality of the information they find

1.B. The same roles as above, but with different technology

1.C. Adapting and embracing new technologies to deliver information services

Question 2:

2.A. Ready availability of unauthenticated information and deciphering misinformation

The ensuing chaos created by rapidly changing technologies

2.B. Professional staff dedicated to helping users learn how to find the information and resources they need

Membership in a library system that provides leadership to individual libraries

Flexibility in adapting services to current needs

2.C. Insufficient funding

Fear of change

Lack of leadership at system and state levels

Insufficient infrastructure

Question 3: n/a

Question 4: Teaching critical thinking inquiry skills

Integrating critical thinking inquiry skills into Common Core State Standards

Being a valuable member of the literacy team, especially in underserved areas

Being the go to educator for intrinsically motivated or gifted and talented learners.

4.B. Showing improved test results

Dynamic programs

Regular reports to administrators, board of education and community

Certified school librarian as an integral part of the school’s instructional program

Question 5: All libraries need to have collaborative partnerships with other types of libraries. In our region a Bridging the Gap Program between the high school libraries and the academic library was coordinated by the School Library System. The point of view of the academic librarian is a most helpful guide for the school librarians.

Question 6: All libraries need to have collaborative partnerships with other types of libraries. As a School Library System Director I have arranged to borrow from the Public Library System unique materials to meet the special needs of students in our public schools.

Again partnerships with elementary school librarians to have students obtain library card.

Question 7: These libraries do not have a high profile with the public yet we want to ensure our doctors and other professionals have access to a highly qualified research librarian.

Question 8:

8.A. “School Library Systems have never been funded at a level sufficient for them to provide the services required under Law or necessary to achieve their potential.” (p. 29 King Summary)

Attracting qualified directors

Certification issues that require SLS Directors to leave the position in order to gain permanent certification.

SLS Directors are compelled by the governing agency to perform duties outside of the School Library System

SLS Directors are required to have administrative certification, but are often denied administrative appointment within the governing agency resulting in little or no control over SLS funding and operations.

8.A. Adequate funding

Leadership from Library Development

Flexibility to try new paradigms

Question 9: Convert NOVELny to a NYS funded project

Negotiate state wide consortium pricing for online resources not included in NOVELny

Develop and maintain a state wide union catalog which includes holdings from all types of libraries

Promote equity of access for all users in all types of libraries

An affordable courier system to connect all types of libraries.

Question 10:

Develop even stronger customer service relationships

Promote their role as information technology providers/interpreters

Provide equity of access to services and resources for all users

Take a leadership role in providing access to these resources; in training in their use and applications to the learning taking place in all types of libraries.

April L. R. Bliss, Director
School Library System of Jefferson-Lewis BOCES
Howard G. Sackett Technical Center


Mid-Hudson Library System

Public library systems need the capacity--funding, staffing, expertise and leadership--to ensure the continuation and development of local library service that meets the diverse and changing interests and expectations of state residents for the next 10-15 years. Mandates when funded should be strengthened.

Restore full funding of public library systems in recognition that library systems leverage economies of scale to provide efficient and cost-effective local library services, which is a model of “shared services” in government that is desired by a majority of state residents.

A mandate for a minimum number of public library system professional staff should not be weakened. Instead, mandates should be immediately strengthened with continuing education requirements expected of all system and central library professional staff irrespective of when staff received their state certification.

Additionally, the training of system and member library trustees should be mandatory and provided by library systems.

System capacity should be sufficient to:

  • Assist member libraries in the development of local funding by all available means, including the pursuit of chapter 259, chapter 414 and special district initiatives, as well as rechartering.
  • Develop cost-effective and system-wide resource discovery tools for library catalogs, in addition to systems that manage loans and patrons, that are simple to use by state residents and include all resources irrespective of format, vendor or means of delivery; and engages state residents by providing opportunities to rate content and write reviews, manage their loans, and use social tagging to create added value to library “catalogs.”
  • Facilitate the expansion of local library service through outreach and the formation of community partnerships, including with local schools, that raises the level of literacy in people of all ages and celebrates reading and the reader.
  • Train member library staff to support state residents in the use of new technologies and devices that access ebooks and other downloadable content provided by public libraries.

Systems should collaborate state-wide in the development of platforms to deliver ebooks and downloadable content to state residents that manages licensing and digital rights when required and protects the public’s investment in this content.

Public Library systems would benefit from the increased capacity of the State Education Department’s New York State Library and Division of Library Development to seek, secure and administer grants and provide leadership state-wide.

Mike Nyerges, Executive Director, Mid-Hudson Library System


Mid-York Library System

Mid York Library System’s collective input – submitted by Wanda Bruchis

Question 1:

1.A. Providers and guarantors of equity of access to information and thus the sole free guarantor of our democracy since a democracy relies on an informed citizenry

Early childhood, information, and digital literacy

Community centers: Information, technology and community services providers regardless of format or environment (i.e. physical or virtual)

1.B. Libraries role as community centers will continue to grow; they will be an indispensible resource for materials, programming, and will increasingly play a role in the provision of job skills, small business development, and locally produced information

Provision of information may shift away from providing physical information sources such as books and media towards access to the Internet and to online databases.

Digital literacy will become an essential component of information literacy instruction and access

1.C. Vigilance with regard to changing technologies and constituencies

With passion and drive to change shortsighted policies and attitudes toward libraries

Forward thinking professionals

Question 2:

2.A. Adequate and stable funding - Misperceptions by public about how libraries are funded

Expectation that libraries will continue to provide valued resources and services, and be on the cutting edge of technology, all while working with severe budget cuts

Changing perception about libraries’ relevance (e.g., changing the minds of people who ask “Why do we need libraries when we have the Internet?”)

Current political climate which is predisposed to defunding services that are perceived as non-essential

Hiring employees who are well-versed and skilled in both traditional and innovative services

Libraries are well-used but taken for granted

Sexism (i.e., perception that libraries are female oriented profession and serve mostly women and thus not worthy of government support)

Lack of understanding that libraries are businesses staffed by professionals

2.B. Library systems are essential - Library systems facilitate the lending of materials between multiple libraries; Library systems provide economy of scale that allow member libraries the ability to afford essential and value added resources; Library systems provide cost efficient professional and technical support for member libraries

Libraries are on the vanguard of new technologies and digital literacy instruction

Professional expertise in an increasingly complex and technological world

Passion

Technology infrastructure

Libraries are supported by corporations like Microsoft and Google

Large percentage of the general population use libraries

In 66% of communities in the US, public libraries are the only source of free Internet access

Taxpayer support in situations where library funding initiatives are put to a vote

Great return on investment(ROI)

Demonstrated ability to collaborate and cooperate with each other and community partners

2.C. Adequate and stable funding - Misperceptions by public about how libraries are funded

Legislative ignorance about roles of libraries

Some, but relatively few taxpayer naysayers

Lack of participation of potential young and disenfranchised voters in the electoral process

Libraries may be defunded to the point of no-return

Question 3:

3.A. Electronic and digital services initiative

Redefining outreach initiatives

Community interaction/services outside library building

Innovative technologies, programming and services to a changing clientele

Libraries are already pursuing these initiatives with library systems facilitating these pursuits

3.B. By being pro-active and going into the community to meet their needs, rather than waiting for the community to come to libraries

Library services should be advertised both in print and online to connect with people using both media

Demonstrate services in community settings

Treat each community member’s information and service needs with respect and individualized attention

Market, market, market

Interact, interact, interact

Question 6: Look to their patrons for the answers to what a library should be in the 21st century

Public library staff and stakeholders can advocate for adequate funding

Can demonstrate that they are an ESSENTIAL service

Can be vigilant about dispelling stereotype of libraries as simply repositories of stuff and emphasize the SERVICE aspect of library

Remain knowledgeable about changes in technology and information provision

Get out of the buildings and into the community

Offer new and non-traditional services

Look towards new partnerships for funding, programming, and library materials

Initiatives should be incorporated to ensure there are no residents of New York State who live in an unchartered to serve area for public library service

Question 8:

8.A. A lack of recognition by state legislators and governor that libraries are an essential service and systems allow libraries to function as essential services by providing expertise, economies of scale, resource sharing and centralized service provision.

A lack of understanding about the important role of libraries in general by funding sources

Lack of adequate funding

The fact that library funding for systems currently has been set back to a point in time when technology and infrastructure and support for these initiatives were not requisites of library service

The current political climate that wants to defund systems to the point of being unable to function even on a most basic level

A lack of understanding by state government that library systems are the most efficient and effective way to provide economies of scale, cost savings, and professional expertise to a library’s members

8.B. Restoration of funding to levels that will allow systems to continue to be providers of expertise, economies of scale, infrastructure and resource sharing opportunities

Innovative and well-trained professional and paraprofessional staff

Question 9: Recognizing that libraries are essential resources in our communities and can provide a statewide framework for ensuring that every resident of New York State has access to excellent library services

Assist libraries to obtain and maintain stable funding (e.g., The BTOP grant obtained through the State Library is helping libraries across the state provide essential digital literacy instruction and job search assistance).

Question 10:

10.A. Libraries are already offering materials in these formats

E-books are already provided through Overdrive

Music downloads are already provided with Freegal

Streaming video is already provided through free public access computers with broadband connectivity

10.B. Libraries must be adequately funded so that they can continue to be leaders in information and technology provision

Libraries will continue to be leaders in information and technology services provision

Libraries must be strong and vocal advocates for their role as guarantors of equity of access to and delivery of information regardless of format

By remaining vigilant and insisting on a voice in the larger digital information arena

As leaders in informing the public about emerging technologies, libraries help, not hinder, the bottom line of commercial entities offering these services


Mohawk Valley Libary System

Question 1: Libraries are centers of their communities, be they schools, academic institutions, or public libraries, providing neutral places for people to pursue their individual goals, e.g. lifelong learning, information access, research, recreational needs, as well as a ‘place’ for a community to come together.

Libraries provide digital access and the expertise (librarians) to navigate new technologies.

I think future core roles will be pretty much the same. The change will be in how the roles are fulfilled and in light of the current technologies. Libraries need to promote both the services they provide and their expertise in assisting people to navigate a changing technological environment and evaluate what they are doing now to prudently use limited financial resources. Libraries need multiple service points, at least a physical space and a virtual presence. They will also be interacting with users both in person as well as virtually. To fulfill those roles, librarians and trustees need to be aware of the needs of the community they serve and current trends, constantly updating their own skills and knowledge.

Question 2: Challenges: Funding to insure their sustainability; public recognition of libraries as relevant to modern society; ongoing education for staff to understand, effectively utilize, and guide people in their use of new technologies; expectations of greater transparency and accountability in use of public funds.

Assets: Most libraries are ‘trusted’ places in their communities: people can access them without feeling they have to have special skills in how to use them, or that they have to belong to a particular group. Groups in communities can look to the library as a physical space where learning (tutoring for example), or meetings can occur. Librarians have the skills to navigate the library and its technologies in a professional, non-judgmental manner so that resources are accessible to all.

Barriers: Many libraries lack stable or sustainable funding. Trustees and staff need to understand that services must be developed and/or sustained in conjunction with community needs.

Question 3: Libraries need to better connect with their communities, not wait for users to find them. The connection may be physical (promoting services where the people are—the grocery store, the community center, etc) or virtual (employing social media, having a web presence that gives access to information). Utilizing social media to connect with those without the library on their radar can both demonstrate the relevance of a library experience as well as provide a new communication stream. More than anything, library staff and trustees need to plan with their communities, not for them. The library is a part of a community with needs and resources; positioning the library as a key resource in that community is imperative. Trustees and staff must also understand that evaluation of current services may mean eliminating some and redirecting resources to address new needs. Each library must reflect its community, not some stereotype that may not be relevant to its service population.

Question 4: Libraries need to be more transparent in showing how public money is utilized and the results of that utilization. Funding must be stable and sustainable; libraries must be accountable to the public paying for them but must also recognize that hard choices must be made on a cost –benefit basis for continuing services. In other words, adopt a business model. Doing more with less is not a sustainable strategy, nor is fundraising a way to pay operating costs.

The current economy is actually a double edged sword. On the one hand, libraries are feeling the pinch of less public money; on the other, people interested in saving household income recognize the library as a resource that can save them money. This is a marketing opportunity particularly in making the case for additional funds but also a challenge to keep up with greater use.

Libraries need to position themselves as current with emerging technologies. This means that in an environment with fewer resources, providing digital materials is going to require reallocation of current resources, or finding new income streams. Broadband access is problematic or expensive in some areas of the state. In smaller, or rural communities, the public library may be the only spot to find free wi-fi, or access the internet.

Bottom line: public libraries need to engage their communities in planning services and position themselves as central to meeting local needs.

Question 5: Clearly funding is at the top of the list. There is a constant need for continuing education to keep up with current trends and technology and to share that with our members who often depend on their local system to keep them informed. Technology has transformed resource sharing in this state to the point where the smallest library has the ability to connect its users with resources and materials found in institutions regionally, statewide, nationally and even internationally. The strength of systems is their ability to provide economies of scales for their members to provide services. Unfortunately, the costs to provide services like technology or delivery of materials are rising at a time when public funding is decreasing. This necessitates a fresh look at what each system will provide its members understanding that all systems are not alike and a cookie-cutter approach will not work. Planning needs to recognize what the member libraries value and need and has to happen locally. It also means prioritizing needs so that funding can address priorities.

What systems need is flexibility to meet local needs. That means examining mandates and regulations to permit them to do their jobs – developing and enhancing local library services and public access to them.

Question 6: n/a

Question 7: n/a

Question 8: n/a

Question 9: The State Library and State Education Department need to acknowledge New York’s diversity and the integral part that libraries play in the educational system and become a strong advocacy voice. Libraries need to be responsive to their own constituencies to insure their survival and state agencies should provide them the flexibility to do this. That may mean that the State Library takes on a more advisory and less regulatory role.

New York has also lagged in maximizing the clout of statewide cooperative purchasing. There could be a key role for the State Library in developing this role although that might better be delegated to systems not having to navigate the state bureaucracy.

One key role that the State Library can play is to develop strategies to insure that broadband access is extended to every part of the state and that rural areas, in particular, do not get left behind.

Question 10:

Libraries have always had competition; it just seems more obvious now. Libraries can prosper in a digital age by insuring that all have access to digital resources and expanding their collections to include new sources.

Carol H. Clingan, Executive Director


North Country Library System

These responses were formulated by myself as well as two of my colleagues here at the North Country Library System: Joan Pellikka, MLS and Emily Owen, MLS. I am the Manager of Consulting and Outreach Services here at NCLS and am the Consultant to the twenty-four libraries in Lewis and Oswego Counties. Joan is the Consultant to the twenty-five libraries in Jefferson County and is also the Coordinator of our AskUs 24/7 Virtual Reference service. Emily Owen is the Consultant to the nineteen libraries in St. Lawrence County and is also the Youth Services Coordinator.

North Country Library System covers a four county area in Northern New York, which is geographically larger than the State of Connecticut. Our libraries are located in and serve primarily rural communities. Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, one of two central libraries, is the least rural and is chartered to serve a population of 26,205. More than half of our member libraries have annual operating budgets of less than $50,000; twenty-two libraries (or, more than a third) have less than $30,000. Only eight of our 65 member libraries have directors/staff holding an MLS.

Amy Starr Zuch, MLS
Manager of Consulting and Outreach Services
North Country Library System

Question 1: The library’s historical role as a free educational and cultural resource has not changed, nor will it change in the future. Libraries in New York State will continue to be the incredibly valuable and extremely popular institutions they have always been. However, in rural areas of the state, many libraries risk becoming outdated in their technology, collections and other services, because their budgets and staff have been unable to keep pace with developing trends. This puts the rural working poor—those who are most unlikely to have other access to information and technology, and who have been among the hardest hit by the economic downturn—at an unfair disadvantage at a time when they most need quality library service.

Question 2: The greatest challenge our libraries face is keeping up with evolving needs of the community, having staff capable of identifying and responding to these needs and the resources to do so. In addition to the lack of adequate funding, most of our rural libraries lack the well-trained professionals with the skills to identify and respond to those needs. Currently, the greatest asset our rural libraries have is the library system, which assists libraries with not only the tools for resource sharing such as a shared ILS and delivery services, but the professionals to assist them in staying up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends in library service. In order to remain relevant, our libraries need not only healthy funding for themselves, but a stable, well-funded library system.

Question 3: Funding is the major barrier to reaching out to non-users. It is also the major barrier to fully serving the many people (over 50% of New Yorkers are registered library users) who are already using New York libraries. Dozens of underfunded libraries in this state are unable to keep up with technology trends, to provide adequate collections or to hire qualified staff-- these problems must be addressed before libraries can direct their limited funds toward outreach to non-users.

Question 4: n/a

Question 5: n/a

Question 6: Libraries must think not in terms of survival, rather they must discover ways to thrive. As information technologies and formats become more complex, libraries must have competent, well-trained staff who are able to assume a leadership role in introducing these new trends to their communities. Library trustees must work diligently to secure adequate, stable funding streams in order to accomplish this whether it be through the creation of library districts or through school ballot referendums. Our representatives in Albany must insure that those options remain available to our libraries. Additionally, healthy library systems are essential, particularly in rural areas such as ours, to provide education and assistance with these processes. Everything is in place for our libraries to succeed, the only thing missing is adequate financial support for all parties.

Question 7: n/a

Question 8: I really only see one major challenge, and that is funding. At NCLS, we have lost a third of our staff. We have reduced or eliminated services in order to be able to provide new and more relevant ones. We are down to the minimum required 4 librarians (consultants) and each of us have taken on new work for the consultants who have retired and have not been replaced. Unlike our members, we have no alternatives for funding (school or municipal referendums, districts to create a self-taxing entity).

Even if there did exist a method for systems to impose a tax, it would put us in competition with our members for local funding. We are left completely at the mercy of New York State. Many systems collect fees to sustain their operations. We only collect fees for one service, and that is the SIRSI automation system. Over half of our member libraries have budgets of under $50,000. The majority of our libraries are staffed by one non-MLS director and no other paid staff.

The greatest asset and resource our member libraries have is their cooperative library system. Public library systems are the greatest example of shared resources and cost-saving I can think of. I can't help being bothered by the wording of the second half of this question: "What are the assets and resources library systems WILL NEED to meet these challenges?" I noticed that the wording of question #2, which is a similar question but refers to libraries in general and not systems, is worded with "What assets and resources do libraries HAVE" instead of "WILL NEED". I worry about what the implications of this subtle difference in wording could mean. Are library systems' role in the sustainability and growth of public libraries being undervalued? Are the services, programs, and support we provide even understood by those in a position to influence our futures?

Question 9:

  1. Library systems need better funding and need the SED to advocate for this on their behalf.
  2. DLD needs to be better funded so that more and better qualified staff can be employed. They are clearly under-staffed and need more training and experience in order to effectively assist systems and their members.
  3. Keep the NYSL (DLD) web site up to date with current forms, applications, and instructions. It is rarely accurate.
  4. Fewer LSTA Invitational grants (that require hundreds of hours for systems to implement and evaluate with very little money to work with). Put that money into NOVEL so that all New Yorkers have access to more and better databases.
  5. Provide need-based funding for systems in areas that require the most help. Library systems can’t be considered a one-size-fits-all solution for all libraries in NY—in underprivileged areas, the lack of qualified member library staff places a heavier burden on the local system. Rural and underfunded areas need more support from their systems, and funding should be allocated accordingly.

Question 10:

The impact will be an increase in usage of libraries. It is the role and obligation of public libraries to keep pace with technology and to constantly stay one step ahead of the needs of patrons. As patrons' become more technologically sophisticated, public libraries must do the same.

I believe the 'Digital Age' is prospering, in part, BECAUSE of libraries. Libraries ought to be thankful for the Digital Age, because it's why we ARE prospering! It is not acceptable for public libraries to implement new technologies and offer in-demand services as a response to patron outcry-- they must provide these proactively, then follow-up the implementation of these new services and technologies with instruction and assistance to patrons. And this is what libraries all across New York State are doing, from the biggest and most advanced like NYPL to the tiniest and most rural, like the Osceola Public Library in our service area, despite the constant struggle to fund new programs and services.

Through the cooperative services of NCLS, patrons living in Osceola, NY (population 365) have access to high speed, wireless internet, electronic databases, materials in sixty-five area libraries, downloadable audio and e-books, and access to a reference librarian 24 hours a day-- at little to no cost to the library and no cost to the patron. Without the system, none of this would be possible. Without NCLS, the Osceola Public Library would simply be a room with books in it. And so, in order for libraries of all sizes and budgets to prosper in the Digital Age, they will need to be able to be able rely on the support of their public library system. Patrons living in rural Northern New York as no less deserving of outstanding library service than patrons living in NYC and while downstate libraries may not be absolutely reliant on their public library system to provide that service, there are hundreds of libraries across the rural areas (most of the state) that ARE.


North Country School Library System (SLS) Directors

Jennifer Henry, Champlain Valley Educational Services SLS; Donna Hanus, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton SLS; April Bliss, Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida SLS; Marla Yudin, Oswego SLS; Allison Wheeler, St. Lawrence-Lewis SLS

Question 1:

1.A. Equity of access to information

Teaching users how to evaluate the quality of the information they find

Teaching users how to apply the information they find to create new knowledge

1.B. The same roles as above, but with different technology

1.C. Adapting and embracing new technologies to deliver information services

Question 2:

2.A. Ready availability of unauthenticated information

The ensuing chaos created by rapidly changing technologies

2.B. Professional staff dedicated to helping users find the information and resources they need

Membership in a library system that provides leadership to individual libraries

Flexibility in adapting services to current needs

2.C. Insufficient funding

Fear of change

Lack of leadership at system and state levels

Insufficient infrastructure

Question 3: Make the library a “cool space to be”

Adapt the bookstore model by including a café and/or performance space

Question 4:

4.A. Teaching critical thinking inquiry skills

Integrating critical thinking inquiry skills into Common Core State Standards

Being a valuable member of the literacy team, especially in underserved areas

4.B. Showing improved test results

Dynamic programs

Regular reports to administrators, board of education and community

Certified school librarian as an integral part of the school’s instructional program

Question 5: (5.B.) Include an academic librarian on School Library System Council when possible

Question 6: Make the library a “cool space to be”

Adapt the bookstore model by including a café and/or performance space

Question 7: n/a

Question 8:

8.A. “School Library Systems have never been funded at a level sufficient for them to provide the services required under Law or necessary to achieve their potential.” (p. 29 King Summary)

Attracting qualified directors

Certification issues that require SLS Directors to leave the position in order to gain permanent certification.

SLS Directors are compelled by the governing agency to perform duties outside of the School Library System

SLS Directors are required to have administrative certification, but are often denied administrative appointment within the governing agency resulting in little or no control over SLS funding and operations.

8.B. Adequate funding

Leadership from Library Development

Flexibility to try new paradigms

Question 9: Convert NOVELny to a NYS funded project

Negotiate state wide consortium pricing for online resources not included in NOVELny

Develop and maintain a state wide union catalog which includes holdings from all types of libraries

Promote equity of access for all users in all types of libraries

Question 10:

10.A. Equity of access will become even more important

Librarians will be key partners in teaching the critical analysis and use of information

10.B. Develop even stronger customer service relationships. Librarians need to get out from behind the desk.

Promote their role as information technology providers/interpreters

Provide equity of access to services and resources for all users

Take a leadership role in providing access to and use of resources

Submitted by Donna M. Hanus, Director, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton School Library System, North Franklin Educational Center


Public Library Systems Youth Services Group

Question 1:

1.A. To create, gather, and provide free, equal access to information and cultural material in a variety of forms (media, programs, etc.) to sustain and enrich the quality of life of the individual and the community.

To provide all people, without regard to economic, cultural, or personal status, a physical and virtual center for continual, self-directed learning through resources, assistance, and motivation.

1.B. The same: To create, gather, and provide free, equal access to information and cultural material in a variety of forms (media, programs, etc.) to sustain and enrich the quality of life of the individual and the community.

To provide all people, without regard to economic, cultural, or personal status, a center for self-directed learning through resources, assistance, and motivation.

1.C. Libraries will provide targeted services to meet the needs of their communities. Library staff and trustees will be forward thinking, aware of trends in the global community, and able to transform this knowledge into essential services.

Libraries will continue to exist in physical form as a place for in-person learning, especially for experiences that foster a relationship between literacy, young people, and their parents, and for adults learning the steady stream of new information technologies. Libraries’ virtual presence will grow as staff find new ways to provide meaningful literacy experiences and connect users to information without advertising or bartering for personal data.

Just as with video formats and audio formats, e-content will co-exist with materials in tangible formats as gateways to literacy and information.

Question 2:

2.A. Inadequate and unstable funding. A shrinking middle class and the growth of the working poor, creating increased demand for library service. Competition from information providers who barter information for personal data in such a way that it appears to be just as “free” as information provided by libraries. Continual rapid expansion of information formats.
Leaders who do not see or do not value the connection between democracy and free access to information for everyone, resulting in a thinking, informed populace. Increased pressure to conform to for-profit business models. Library staff and boards will need to make difficult decisions about services and programs as the way libraries are viewed changes. Need for expert, diverse, multi-lingual staff to understand the needs of their multi-cultural clientele and envision creative ways to serve them.

2.B. An intelligent and mission-driven workforce with a keen understanding of the place of libraries in a democracy and personal commitment to free access to information. The ability to leverage economies of scale. Libraries can provide access to physical and virtual information formats more economically and more broadly than most individuals can obtain on their own. Strength in the partnerships and coalitions within their communities. By working together with colleagues in social services, not-for-profit cultural agencies and the private sector, libraries can enhance and expand cost-effective service to a broad base. An identity as a community place, open to anyone and everyone. A cadre of very articulate supporters in the writers and readers who depend on us. The ability to respond quickly to rapidly changing environments, using data to make decisions and evaluate results. Infrastructure, in the regional systems and the State Library, that provides support, assistance, vision, and leadership.

2.C. Library leaders (staff and trustees) are not always politically savvy, or willing to stand up and be counted by speaking out. As a whole profession, we are less adept at dealing with conflict and fighting for our share than we must be. We often view advocacy as something that happens mainly when there is a looming crisis, rather than as an ongoing and essential role. These limitations, as well as the travails of the economy and the state of the various governmental coffers, will impact our effectiveness in ensuring adequate funding for libraries. Inadequate funding to create positions or to pay competitively will mean that libraries will struggle to provide services to non-English speaking communities. The political movements advocating less government and lower taxes will also adversely impact libraries’ ability to function nimbly and to persuade voters to fund libraries. A decreased societal understanding of the value of library service for democracy and culture will continue to impact libraries’ ability to function effectively.

Question 3:

3.A. When funding allows libraries to keep up with technology trends, provide adequate collections and hire qualified staff to be successful at serving current users, we can work on extending service to nonusers by:

  • Improved marketing of libraries’ many services. Often potential users simply aren’t aware of what the library offers.
  • Assessing which groups are not using library services, making strategic decisions about groups to target and how to do that with cost-effective, relevant, services, and meeting potential users where they are in physical and digital environments.
  • Partnering with other organizations to connect with their customer populations.
  • Removing barriers to library service : physical, political, economic, cultural and policy barriers.

3.B. Libraries are already democratically run -- communities usually have a direct voice in the services the library offers. Expanded partnerships and library leader participation in local organizations will embed libraries even more deeply into their communities as formal and informal communication increases information flow.

Libraries also need to be smarter in our marketing about the great universe of services we offer. Great marketing-- and great, marketable services-- simply takes ample funding and expert staff.

Last, libraries should (and now can) take our services where the public is: internet, cell phones, e-readers, etc. When today’s non-users realize that libraries truly have something for everyone they, too, will become regular users and ardent supporters. We have a great tradition of outreach, and digital avenues provide an excellent opportunity for expansion.

Question 4:

4.A. To teach media literacy, to nurture enjoyment of reading, and to guide students in assessing the quality of the vast amount of information available today.

4.B. Staffing and funding school libraries adequately is a good place to start.

Promoting the importance in our society of media literacy and the role of school librarians in teaching media literacy and critical information evaluation skills.

Question 5:

5.B/C. To allow public access to their resources. In some areas, college libraries are the only resource for research material and one of the only places to get quality reference service. If public libraries continue to be poorly funded and staffed, academic libraries must be prepared to meet the community need for research material in addition to the needs of their own students and faculty.

Question 6:

6.A. Succeed! This is not a flip response, but an urgent need. Libraries cannot defend our service in any more relevant way than by succeeding at our mission, and then communicating our success to the community, to governmental agencies, and to funders. We are falling into a circular conversation that begins with a faulty premise that libraries are obsolete. In reality, library usage is up. The explosion of online information is overwhelming and baffling to many, and information literate librarians are essential to connecting users to the accurate information they need.

Public libraries need to continue to emphasize our role as the early literacy place for children and as a positive source of learning, socialization, and development for tweens and teens.

We must work diligently to connect with our communities all levels, serving individuals and reaching out to groups who may find value in using our facilities. We must also adopt a models of continual feedback and user-driven services so effective in the commercial marketplace. Libraries must provide the broadest range of e-content, and we need to work with publishers to ensure fair library pricing of e-content so that every person has access to information in all its forms.

Public libraries must work tirelessly to learn and use new technologies to engage with potential users at their point of need. Our marketing must become more sophisticated.

Public libraries must communicate relentlessly our practical value in modern life and our vital role in a democratic society.

6.B. The role of public libraries (and library staff) in the early literacy process must be given the serious attention it deserves and funded accordingly. Libraries will be able to provide better early literacy services to their communities if they are able and required to hire qualified youth services staff. If need-based funding were available for systems to help libraries improve the quality of youth services, New York’s public libraries would become much more effective in critical early literacy education.

Library leaders also need to involve their communities in taking a brutally honest look at how the library serves the community. Assessing whether services are relevant and which may be more needed, determining where and which barriers exist, and reconfirming the essential mission of libraries will help library service evolve.

In some cases where the population served is very small, communities would be better served by merging with other libraries to centralize administration (without necessarily reducing library outlets) and allowing each outlet to focus more of its resources on service. This merging of library administration but maintaining library outlets reduces overhead, focuses on library services on a broader scale, but still recognizes the needs of many in rural communities without or with very limited public transportation.

Last, public libraries can better serve their communities by strategically seeking new ways to connect and monitoring current connections with their community at all levels. Alliances with community organizations, strong engagement with schools, and participation in local government can all help libraries be valued for their essential place in modern life.

Question 7:

7.B. Special and research libraries will thrive if they connect with their larger communities and look beyond their niche community; it will be a matter of redefining the community served as physical barriers become less relevant.

Question 8:

8.A. A deficit of vision about the vital role of libraries in society, and a deficit of community responsibility.

Proving and communicating systems’ worth to funders and leaders.

Securing funding that enables systems to provide useful services to member libraries. In the meantime, meeting the needs of member libraries effectively as system staff expertise and funding is lost.

Managing the demands of member libraries whose need for services is greater due to their budget cuts and to the rapid changes forcing new models of library service.

Keeping up with technology, and facilitating broadband and cellular access to our communities.

Continuing education for staff to keep current with the challenges and the possibilities created by emerging technologies.

Our ability to compete in a for-profit world (for example, in negotiating pricing for e-content).

Maintaining our focus on customer (member library) service and support rather than institutional survival when our existence seems constantly endangered. Fear erodes excellence.

Communicating to funders and leaders the value of all system assets, including the staff and the knowledge and guidance offered to individual libraries. The cooperative services systems provide are a valuable piece of what we do, but technology and delivery services meet only a portion of the needs of local libraries. The mentoring, guidance, training, and motivating that system staff do is less measurable but no less valuable. Recognizing the economic value of merging some resources and services and communicating this value to members.

As long as there are very different levels of library services throughout the state, library systems will be needed to fill in the gap between a community’s need and the library’s ability to meet it. However, library systems can’t be expected to be a one-size-fits-all model for the state of New York. Systems should be given funding in proportion to their need and freedom to use that funding for the betterment of their member libraries, especially in the vitally important area of youth services.

8.B. Stable, adequate funding will allow systems to attract and retain experienced professional staff, and fund the new technology that supports member libraries’ relevance.

Our history of collaborative partnerships and economies of scale, if communicated clearly, will authenticate our cost-effectiveness.

Strong, supportive member libraries are both our greatest partners and the demonstration of our success.

Systems, libraries and the state together must also look at the actual needs in anticipation of a new direction rather than offering statewide service models to fill in service gaps. Currently, cuts, fees for service, or mergers are only responsive to the threats rather than moving towards a vision for the future.

Question 9: The State Library must provide leadership and be the strongest voice for libraries in New York. Just as member library staff look to system staff for leadership, so should system staff be able to look to the State Library staff for leadership. The State Library currently does not have adequate staffing to provide this leadership, and the cost is huge: missed opportunities for service and innovation, wasted time, and lost economies of scale. The State Library must also have a staff with expertise and enough time to assist library systems and libraries with higher level problems in a timely fashion – which is not currently happening.

The State Education Department must view libraries as an integral part of its mission and treat us accordingly. Too often, libraries get overlooked. As an example, when Commissioner Steiner spoke at the New York Library Association conference, libraries weren’t a real part of the conversation until the question and answer period.

Libraries, despite what their leaders may sometimes think, need the infrastructure provided by the systems and the State. As we consider 21st century library services in New York, we should go back and draw on the thinking that established system services to begin with. That vision allowed the library community to provide system services, adapt to new technology and provide greater and more equitable library service as a result. Radical trust was a requirement to that kind of change. We will need radical trust, and the due diligence and communication that builds it, in order to adopt major changes today as well. Starving systems or superimposing one model over another will not be effective in the long term. We cannot simply reduce services or even just charge for those services without an actual assessment of what library service means to the communities (libraries and the public) served.

The State Library and the State Education Department must take the information gathered in this process and develop a vision and a plan for 21st century library service that the entire library community can champion.

Question 10: The impact is significant. Libraries must be part of the discussion and part of the growth.

In the Digital Age, libraries must maintain their role as the place where information may be accessed in a choice of formats, and without charge or surrendering more personal data than is found on a library card application. Public libraries must provide the bridge for those who can’t afford the new technologies that are becoming essential for success in our society, and the place to access the technologies when it isn’t commercially feasible for access from home.

Libraries, in general, must continually work to create an informed population, as many resources readily available may not truly be the best resources. Information literacy is a key library role. Training the public on new technologies, facilitating broadband and cellular access, and working with publishers and digital rights management companies to obtain cost-effective content are examples of where libraries can have an impact.

Libraries are also uniquely position to combine our digital services with a long-standing ability to make a personal connection, such as knowing when a child’s favorite book has come out in e-content and notifying her parent, or remembering a teen’s favorite series and texting him when the next book comes in.

Librarians must educate funders and our communities about our expertise in gathering, organizing, archiving, retrieving and disseminating information and creative works. We must demonstrate the value of these skills to our society and our democracy. We must communicate libraries’ role not only as keepers of culture but as propagators of culture. If we embrace these roles and recognize the importance of excellent customer service, responsiveness, outreach, marketing, free and open access, we will not only survive, we will thrive.

Southern Adirondack Library System

Question 1:

1.A. Libraries provide a public or virtual space that will allow equal access to information and to allow lifelong learning and fulfill recreational needs.

1.B. The above with stable and sustainable funding. Libraries cannot be passive participants in their futures and the needs of their communities. Providing materials is not enough.

1.C. Libraries will provide services to meet the needs of their communities. Library staff and trustees will be forward thinking, aware of trends in the global community and provide the services. The libraries must work with their local communities, governmental agencies, and partners, schools, to provide both the vision and the solutions.

Question 2:

2.A. Just because libraries are not for profit, they must be run as a business. Staff and trustees need to evaluate services, programs, materials to make sure that these services are relevant in a corporate world. Library staff and boards will need to make difficult decisions about services, programs and the way libraries are viewed.

Libraries will need to have stable funding. Library Boards will need to be transparent and show how the money is being used to serve the needs of the community.

2.B. Libraries with good management can respond quickly to rapidly changing environments. Good planning with community involvement, ability to evaluate results, and using data to make decisions.

2.C. As Walt Kelly wrote: "We have met the enemy... and he is us"

Question 3:

3.A. Libraries need to know what gaps are in the community and fill those gaps if it meets the needs of most. Libraries need to be seen as an important institution and would make the community a place people would want to live in, work in, raise their children or retire in.

3.B. Community members need to be part of the planning process. The library will then be the community’s library, rather than the library or library trustee institution.

Question 4: n/a

Question 5: n/a

Question 6: Planning, vision, funding, management using data, evaluation and good management. And then show the results to the community, governmental agencies, etc.

Library staff and trustees need to make hard choices, provide less and do it better. To quote Sandra Nelson, a national library consultant, “we need to stop rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Question 7: n/a

Question 8:

8.A. Ability to compete in a corporate world

Stable funding

Educated workforce – library staff and trustee

Keeping up with technology (and being able to recycle old equipment)

Broadband and cellular access

Proving our worth

8.B. Systems allow for collaborative partnerships and economy of scale. SALS provides delivery, an integrated library system, venue for resource sharing among libraries of all sizes, fills in the gap in areas of consulting and technology.

Question 9: The State Library and State Education must provide leadership or delegate to the systems. They need to be our strongest voice.

Question 10:

Libraries must be part of the discussion. Library leaders need to work with publishers and digital rights management companies to keep libraries relevant. New York State and its cooperative buying power must be heard. Unfortunately, the digital divide may widen.

Sara Dallas, Director

Last Updated: August 25, 2011 -- asm