From the President
by Barbara Stripling, NYLA President
As a NYLA member, you have expectations for the role of NYLA in the New York library ecosphere and your own professional life. Maybe you expect NYLA to function as a hub, connecting you to a network of colleagues who will enable you to improve your own practice. Perhaps you rely on NYLA to act as an advocate for public and legislative support for libraries. You probably depend on NYLA and its sections and roundtables to be providers of myriad professional development opportunities.
NYLA is stepping up to redefine a role that you may not have even considered – that of convener. The standard definition of convene is to “come together,” but in today’s complex world, coming together is only part of what creates change and moves ideas forward. In its convening role, NYLA is actually following the model of success described by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Convening as Coming Together
In addition to the normal coming-together events, NYLA has stepped up to the convener role for New York’s academic and special libraries by hosting an Academic Library Summit on June 9 in Albany. Representatives from academic and special library organizations will assemble to identify the complex issues facing these libraries and envision strategies to address those issues as a library community.
Convening as Keeping Together
The idea of keeping together is actually what propelled me to start the Everyday Advocacy initiative and ask Ron Kirsop to lead it. I see advocacy as a continuing effort of conversation, affirmation, and connection, not a once- or twice-a-year event. By enabling every library supporter, whether a library employee or an interested member of the community, to recognize and speak up about the impact and value of libraries of all types, this initiative has the potential to build sustained relationships with our communities. Everyday Advocacy will keep us together.
Convening as Working Together
The actions embedded in the NYLA Strategic Plan are being carried by units across the association. You can, in fact, read about the good work of your NYLA colleagues in this eBulletin.
This summer, I hope to be an ambassador of NYLA’s convening role by visiting libraries and library systems across the state and meeting with local librarians and library supporters. Please invite me to come when it is convenient; I would love to build a schedule that enables us to work together to strengthen libraries across the state of New York.