National Promise: Anticipating a new era for LC | Editorial

This article was published in Library Journal's July 1, 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate. Rebecca T. Miller (miller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal. We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate. We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use. (LC) as the iconic institution approaches what promises to be a transformational time. When long-standing Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced his plan to retire in January 2016, bets started flying on who would be the best new leader. The job, to be filled by President Barack Obama’s appointment, with confirmation from Congress, is an exciting and challenging one. The next leader has the opportunity to build on the best work of LC to date, as well as dig into the necessary task of bringing LC’s tech and digital strategies up to speed. Ultimately, however, this is more than just a chance to catch the library up to the current state of the art. It is an occasion again to embrace the library’s role as a national and global leader, enabling new solutions for all libraries and elevating LC’s impact as a model for the full spectrum of what libraries bring to their communities, from core services to expansive innovation. ,”)—someone with mastery of the full range of libraries’ current capacities and vision about their potential. This is not just because of my affection for librarians but because right now the “library” part of the Library of Congress is so very important—both inside the library and in the work LC drives beyond its walls. Libraries are undergoing so much transformation that the full possibility of LC is most likely to emerge under the leadership of someone already steeped in the best practices, developing technologies, and evolving role of libraries in supporting the dynamism of the communities they serve. This change comes just as major efforts have been undertaken to connect further the work taking place in the network of libraries large and small on a countrywide level, via the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the approaching conceptualization of a National Digital Platform supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). To make real strides in the work toward turning the nascent vision of library as platform into a functional truth, all the players, at every level, must work together in new and uncharted ways. In helping those dreams become a reality, LC has a natural and critical role, as advocate, collaborator, and partner. A reinvigorated LC should also mean broader impact internationally, whereby LC already enjoys great status as our national library (of sorts). It also has the opportunity to help inform strategic thinking in countries striving to develop or enhance library services. As the global library community continues to establish more robust relationships, LC should be working as an ambassador to build alliances, stakeholder buy-in, and broadened support for libraries as a critical communal asset. Back home, I also can’t help thinking that a strong LC is essentially a daily advocacy tool for generating more sustainable funding for libraries in the United States, given the core audience in Congress. Exposure to a model of exemplary and innovative library work—brick and mortar and digital—on the Hill could translate into a culture of high expectations, and backing, for libraries in those lawmakers’ home states. I for one am excited by the prospects and hope to see the investment of expertise and resources required to make the coming transition of LC leadership transformational for the library itself, fulfilling the highest potential of this venerable institution. We’ll be watching, as I’m sure you will be, too. In the meantime, we’re eager to hear how you think the library should build toward this new era. to help you map out a blueprint for developing a coding program that fits your budget. Participants will be exposed to case studies of tech programming that works, free tools and resources that crosses a spectrum of patrons ranging from children to adults. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger. We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Source.


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Last Modified: March 31, 2015 @ 12:00 am