I had the pleasure of attending the American Library Association Conference in Washington, DC last month. I found it energizing and inspiring to meet and catch up with so many organizations and libraries that I admire! I also got to see some of my favorite “library people” – former colleagues who have moved on to other library systems, current and past clients, library marketing peers, vendors and others. This was the first in-person ALA annual conference since 2019, so everyone was joyful and ready to connect and share ideas.
I also discovered a new group that I wasn’t aware of – Urban Libraries Unite. ULU is a passionate group of urban library professionals and advocates working to build community centered 21st Century Libraries. They were there talking about their new Urban Library Trauma report, and it got me thinking, “How can libraries tell their stories and market themselves in this new reality, where in addition to the normal challenges of working in libraries, they also have to defend their profession against misinformation, book challenges and the culture wars?” I don’t have an answer, but I will be reading their report and incorporating this thinking into my speaking, writing and training going forward.
I’d like to hear from you: What are your biggest challenges at the moment? What role does trauma plan in the way your library or organization operates? And what is bringing you joy and fulfillment in the face of all that? Shoot me an email!