Presentation on theme: "Celebration of Libraries June 11, 2007. Introductions: The DALNET Board The SEMLOL Board Members of the Suburban Library Cooperative Members of the Macomb."— Presentation transcript:
Celebration of Libraries June 11, 2007
Introductions: The DALNET Board The SEMLOL Board Members of the Suburban Library Cooperative Members of the Macomb Technology Advisory Committee Members of the Macomb Curriculum Committee Members of the Macomb Learning Advisory Committee The Directors of the Information Research and Technology Unit Staff members from Macomb Community College Libraries Celebration of Libraries
We have come a long way generally over the last years. Celebration of Libraries
More recently, we have come From typewriters to computers. From a card catalog to an online computer catalog. From Library of Congress cards to OCLC MARC records. From original cataloging in each library to online, copy cataloging with OCLC. From subject searching to keyword searching. From print books, monographs and journals to electronic full text books and journals with Google indexing and global Internet access. From carbon and ditto copying to Xerox machines, color copies and on to scanning and optical character recognition. Celebration of Libraries
What is the real benefit of libraries? Libraries locally assist with building community creating local stability raise house values At the college and university level they provide an academic foundation support life long learning reinforce the continuum of learning Libraries create respect for wisdom and knowledge. Celebration of Libraries The Seattle Public Library.
As we assess our progress, in the context of reality TV, cable and satellite transmissions, do the efforts of our collective libraries translate to a more literate public? Celebration of Libraries Well, yes, but why do we feel so uncomfortable, challenged and threatened? Library Use and Education (Have used library in past year) Library Use and Income (Have used library in past year)
Library Challenges Politics and Perceptions – The Library Message Technology – The Internet and Intellectual Freedom Financing and Money – Adequate Library Funding Celebration of Libraries
Politics and Perceptions: The Library Message The world is changing. As was always the case there are many forces at work simultaneously trying to effect some kind of a result, which we call progress. Globalization means that China and India can be expected to become more dominant. Terrorism makes everyone feel more threatened. But these are at their heart just ideas, concepts and perceptions that should be countered with ideas, concepts and perceptions. Celebration of Libraries
Technology and Google may do away with some of our basic library services. We have found that the Information glut can be harnessed by computers. The question here is whether we accept a diminished role or seek to carve out a new enhanced role that emphasizes the use of the intellect in making sound decisions for the future. Celebration of Libraries The Library Context
In the last twenty years the book industry has merged with the entertainment industry with a bittersweet outcome. Facts presented as entertainment can sometimes be trivialized. Our well-informed citizenry is in danger of becoming the well-amused audience. – Al Gore On the other hand, learning became more engaging and fun for those that know how to use the new tools effectively. Respect for the rule of reason needs to be re-established. – Al Gore The saving grace of libraries is that they appeal to the intellect and to intelligence. Libraries have a role to play in repairing the systemic decay of the public forum. Celebration of Libraries
Efficiencies and cost savings are being discussed in eliminating some local governments, school districts and libraries. -Free Press article Sunday, June 3, 2007 Section C page 1. Celebration of Libraries Part of the rule of reason is that librarians and libraries need to come up with viable plans for their own future.
Mergers and consolidations especially of libraries are really a local decision. However, efficiencies can be made with statewide library networking with a statewide integrated library system Celebration of Libraries
The ILS software industry has been merged and consolidated by venture capitalists and profit making concerns, Ameritech became epixtech which merged with Dynix which merged with Sirsi. Endeavor has recently merged with Ex Libris. Celebration of Libraries
What do we do about statewide library networking, and about library reciprocity? Are we able to bridge the gap between public and academic libraries? Celebration of Libraries
300 the battle between the Spartans and the Persians. Consider Greece thousands of years ago as a group of small, decentralized city states and tribes. We experience the result as the start of a philosophy of government and the spark of democracy.
Celebration of Libraries Knowing this historic background, can we do less than venture capitalists and corporate America? The lack of will at the state and federal government level to resolve partisan, self interests and extreme ideology is increasingly troubling. Will we follow that model or will we follow our own professional, philosophic foundations in creating an improvement in information access, education and learning. Michigan Librarians must craft a coherent library message and speak with one voice.
Technology There are those who would argue that Society, forecasting and predictions can be stripped down using math, algorithms and the concepts of Chaos Theory. There is still no replacement for reading, writing and critical thinking … these are skill sets for using the tools of knowledge and wisdom. Celebration of Libraries
In order to survive both groups have sought to reinforce programs and services in support of information literacy, tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism and intellectual curiosity. Celebration of Libraries Public Libraries have always had to worry about survival. The Academic Libraries are coming later to being threatened.
It’s the Internet The Internet has become a platform for pursing the truth, …..and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas. Celebration of Libraries
The Internet must be developed and protected through the establishment of fair rules of engagement and the exercise of the rule of law. Children do need to be protected. Celebration of Libraries
It is important to Intellectual Freedom that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without limitation Adults should be able to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Web. Libraries represent the freedom to think about ideas. There is the threat of consolidation and control over Internet content. The same ferocity that our Founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the Internet. Celebration of Libraries
The democratization of knowledge by the print medium brought the Enlightenment. Broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy and the search for truth. Celebration of Libraries
Financing and Money We have learned over the last several years that the world is not the same in Michigan. There is a major restructuring taking place. Historians would call it a watershed moment. Corporate leaders initially thought of it as a major sea change. Wall Street would call it a correction. Celebration of Libraries
Paradoxes Workers with fewer years of formal education feel that it is harder to earn a decent living now than years ago, as earnings of the college educated have about doubled compared with high school graduates. Yet, the public education system, once the great equalizer, is perceived to be deteriorating. It is becoming dramatically harder to finance a college education as well as maintain financial support for libraries. Over a 20 year period government has been taking more from the middle class in taxes than it has given back in benefits. One of the suggestions to address income instability and a lower standard of living is to boost our national investment in education and training – reduce inequality while expanding economic opportunity. We must have an educational system that a much larger proportion of the middle class can afford. -Mortimer B. Zuckerman Editorial Uneasy in the Middle U.S. News & World Report June 11, 2007, p Celebration of Libraries
The message in focusing on the challenges of Politics, Perceptions, Technology, Financing and Money is to stick together. People don’t read enough. People are not easily convinced to consider alternative ideas. People do not think deeply enough. Our critical path is the education of society and the discernment of information as real and factual or biased and skewed. Celebration of Libraries
Libraries and librarians are better off than we were years ago. There remain challenges to address in maintaining a balance between political, technological and financial interests with engagement using the concepts of: The Library message Intellectual Freedom Adequate Funding …..to provide Learning and a Learning Environment. Thanks for your support in fighting the good fight with your assistance and your dedication. Celebration of Libraries