There’s a Dragon in Your Library – Training OpportunitySeptember 28, 2023
Navigating Challenges to Books and Programs – Training OpportunityOctober 3, 2023
HELLO PLAN MEMBERS!
It is indeed an enormous pleasure to be named to this position as the new Executive Director working on behalf of PLAN. I am humbled and grateful to our wonderful board and am already excited by their personal insights. It is an amazing group that we work with in public libraries, and I don’t know of another profession where I think so highly of their integrity, commitment, and knowledge. I am in love with this work due to the sound quality of minds that exist for the purpose of mutual collaboration!
While the last few years have held much change for our organization, going under a name change from Central Texas Library System to Partners Library Action Network, we quite rightly have aspired to be inclusive of all public libraries in the state. Our current name is reflective of the work that we have done to make that happen over the past years.
I am proud of the work I see in Texas public libraries and if you find yourself fortunate enough to be in charge of the growth of a Texas public library, we welcome you and your questions. Just know we want to support your efforts but our work must be funded and we will work very hard for you because we uniquely understand what the price of membership means for many underfunded institutions. We want you to know this is the first place to come when you have questions. Please remember we are here to assist you when you are overwhelmed and do not know which problem to confront first! We exist precisely to demonstrate a guiding presence in making effective decisions, to provide support for collections and materials, policy management, leadership, improving data and performance measures, community assessment, marketing and strategic/master planning. And if you just don’t know what those things really mean and entail, we are happy to have a conversation about that with you as well! We recognize all the enormous differences in public library communities, their immediate and emergent needs and we are here to help you at your point and level of need!
THIS BEARS REPEATING:
“If you find yourself fortunate enough to be in charge of the growth of a public library, we welcome you and your questions. Just know this is the first place to come when you have questions. Please remember we are here to assist you when you are overwhelmed and do not know which problem to confront first!”YOU HAVE MY PERSONAL PROMISE FOR ATTENTION, COMPASSION AND GUIDANCE!
Currently, we know that the roles we assume are highly relevant to the needs of public libraries. Our small team is incredibly capable, committed, and talented. We presently possess many serving roles, but we do want to make certain that we are doing the work that you need and value the most!
That is why I will be reaching out to each Library Director in the state to discuss how they see public library need and public library action items. My personal commitment to you as a leader is to find those areas of commonality where we can all gain from membership in this organization. When I reach out to you, I will be asking you a few very important questions: 1) What is your most important basic need? 2) What are two other top needs? 3) Has PLAN been of help in some way and how? 4) What role/roles do you see PLAN playing in the state to make our public libraries have more actionable roles and a cohesive feeling and message throughout the state? 5) Do you or your staff have any special skills you believe PLAN would benefit from to better execute public trainings or discussions? While we cannot meet every need, we are here to serve the most of you most of the time as best we can and to create a climate where partnership helps empower us all to better serve.
Some of you may be asking the question, what all does PLAN do? Other than our membership-level and special consulting, one of our best programs was renewed this year. PLAN was awarded a Texas State Library and Archives Special Projects Grant in September 2022. This grant is referred to as the Library Rescue Grant and is an initiative designed to support libraries wanting to accomplish major projects that they do not have the staff, training, or time to accomplish alone. The grant allows PLAN to work with a library and a team of volunteers, consultants, and stakeholders who conduct intensive hands-on work, lead training, and provide support in a short period of time. Dayna Williams-Capone was hired as the Special Project Coordinator for this grant in October 2022. The first library rescue was completed in February 2023 at Teinert Memorial Library in Bartlett, Texas in which a group of 12 library employees and community volunteers worked to weed the library’s collection following a multi-year closure of the building. Several other library rescues have been since completed, including a weeding and cleaning project in Stamford, Texas and training and policy review for new library directors in several rural Texas libraries. The Texas State Library and Archives Special Projects Grant was renewed for FY23 and continues to accept applications for this game-changing program!
As we continue to grow in strength through membership, grant-funding and gifting, we pledge to make our work product more visible so that you can better understand our capabilities and where your funding goes. It is also worth mentioning that our discounts in our Consortium Partnership Program actually pay for the price of membership. It is a deep value but it must be fully utilized to be meaningful.
It is my pleasure to serve you and to be an effective sounding board as you move forward with your own decision-making process in your library. I will be reaching out to speak with you soon. I want to hear how you all envision our public libraries working together to further serve each individual and community mission!
Louanne Noel, PLAN ED