On so, we’re on to Day 2 here at the Massachusetts Library Association. I spent the morning updating here and thoroughly enjoying Lobbycon. Now, it’s on to the afternoon. Remember, follow along on Twitter: #mlajoinforces
“State of the Library Nation”: Keith Fiels, Executive Director of ALA, is talking about the major issues, trends and myths currently affecting libraries around the country. He pulled a lot of scary statistics from the ALA report State of America’s Libraries (PDF) and countered a number of myths about libraries with those same stats. “No one will give you money because you want it or had it & would like it back. Vision drives funding.” “The closest I’ve seen to a library without walls is a politician giving a community a library without money.”
Digital Public Library of America: Maura Marx of the Open Knowledge Commons at Harvard’s Berkman Center outlined the push towards a single, umbrella-like national portal and repository, tentatively called the Digital Public Library of America. A good history lesson and an update on what’s going on now, and it sounds like this is an initiative that might just have enough big guns backing it to get somewhere. “Just because we didn’t succeed 15 years ago doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try again now. There was violent agreement.”
That’s all the major stuff from today. Tonight is trivia, complete with superhero costumes to complement our “Join Forces” theme. Reports on that in the morning!