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					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 20-30 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                The Seattle Public Library.




 •Libraries create respect for wisdom and knowledge.

                                                        Celebration of Libraries
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?
 Library Use and Education (Have used library in past year)   Library Use and Income (Have used library in past year)




Well, yes, but why do we feel so uncomfortable,
challenged and threatened?

                                                                                         Celebration of Libraries
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
 The Library Context


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
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
Part of the rule of reason is that librarians and libraries
need to come up with viable plans for their own future.




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
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.




                                                         Celebration of Libraries
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
Public Libraries have always had to worry about
survival.
The Academic Libraries are coming later to
being threatened.




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
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 20-30 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. 72. 72.


                                                                                        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 20-30
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
Celebration of Libraries
    June 11, 2007

				
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