Advocacy with a Big “A”

Wisconsin Library Association Conference – 2015, Presented by Gina Milsap, CEO @ Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Gina’s library is piloting the Aspen Institute’s Rising to the Challenge – Re-envisioning Public Libraries.

Libraries build a better society and a better world, and are reinventing themselves for a networked world. She talked of People, Place & Platform.

  • People:  Know what’s going on in your community and be engaged. Facilitate tough conversations. Relationships and knowledge networks. Become Match.com for the library and people they serve.
  • Place:  Of economic development, civic pride and a virtual space.
  • Platform: Library as Service – community learning & relationships; deliver service on demand. Library as Third Place where learning and civic needs are met.

Libraries drive opportunity & success:

  • Align key assets with community goals
  • Provide access to content in all formats
    • affordable broadband to facilitate content creation
    • Library of Congress – amazing collection of digital content
    • Gigabit Makerspace @ Chattanooga Public Library
  • Ensure long-term sustainability – new models for budgets and governance
    • Special taxing districts (Pam Sandlian Smith in CO)
    • Topeka & Shawnee County’s board can raise and lower taxes without referendum
    • Europeana Exhibitions – virtual European library with digital collection of art, literature and music
    • Digital Public Library of Ameria (4th Place) is a portal, a platform, and advocate for strong public library
  • Cultivating Leadership (with vision)
    • iLead Program aligns library with the community around key goals of education and economy; extends beyond library walls to public/private partnerships
    • Power to re-envision communities with shared vision and values

Who’s Using the Aspen Institute Report

  • Discussion is at the state-wide level with the Governor (CT)
  • Brewster MA
  • Wichita Public Library Foundation – new name for library – Advanced Learning Library – focusing on the community’s preferred future
  • Santa Monica CA
  • Columbus WI – Cindy Fesemeyer, Director – Root for Columbus Campaign; resulted in themable and quantifiable data.

The report presents a national perspective and includes an Action Guide on how to convene conversations. Gina prefers SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, results) to SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

Libraries moving from a nice to have to essential to have for their communities.

Aspen Institute_Rising to the Challenge Re-envisioning Public Libraries

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Adidas Snowboarding

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Finding the Words

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Edges of Sanity

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Designers Basic Essential

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70’s Retro Look

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Photography Magic

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