From the President...
February 2013, by Carol Anne Germain
Last week, New Yorkers sadly lost one of its larger than life icons: Ed Koch. The mayor is most notably remembered for asking those around him “How am I doing?” By continuously querying his constituents, reporters, and others about his performance, he had a better pulse of what was transpiring in his city. Sometimes he used the information to improve situations, sometimes not. More importantly, he let those individuals know he cared about the job he was doing for them.
It may be time for New York libraries to be a little more outspoken in asking how we are doing. As New York library professionals a better question for us to ask may be “What’s your library story?” Responses to this question will give us a better idea on how we are doing and inform how we can improve (or not) our services.
Not surprisingly, everyone has a library story. At a recent get-together, I ran into one of my neighbors who had just returned from Kuwait. I asked him about the status of his master’s work in public policy. He said it was going very well and mostly because of the library resources and services he had received from the college library while he was overseas. He remarked that he was often amazed by the vast amount of materials made available to him in both print and electronically formats. This story surfaced without the prompting for a “library story.” This spring he will complete his thesis and in May he will graduate. A part of his success is due to New York libraries and librarians. This soldier has agreed to email the tale to his legislatures, so they too, will have a stronger idea of the benefits their constituents receive from New York libraries.
So let’s start asking “What’s your library story?”