Sarah Long, American Library Association President (1999-2000) and North Suburban Library System Director recorded an interview with Joanne Griffin, Reference Librarian at the Des Plaines Public Library in Des Plaines, IL about their Building Community through Creative Communications grant. This Library Services and Technology grant funded Des Plains Library and other community organizations to conduct a Public Policy Institute to train moderators of deliberative forums. Along with their community partners, this library has been conducting National Issues Forums and other community conversations in the same vein. I was very impressed with the outreach that Des Plains did and the true collaboration they have formed with community organizations (i.e., they didn’t just put names of “partners” into their grant because that’s what the funder wanted!)
As ALA President, Sarah’s agenda was “Libraries Build Community.” That agenda was carried forward by Nancy Kranich (ALA President 2000-2001) whose agenda was “Libraries: Cornerstones of Democracy.” Another outstanding leader in the library field, Leslie Burger (current ALA President) continues this noble agenda with the theme, “Libraries Transform Communities.” On April 5, I’ll be hosting these three ALA Presidents online in the OPAL Auditorium from 4:30 – 6:30 Central Time for a President’s Panel on The Role of Libraries in Community (we really need a catchier title…any ideas????) Stay tuned to this blog for more details or subscribe to the Texas Forums newsletter.