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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On The First Day of Christmas My True Library Love ...

Christmas carols are playing constantly, 24/7 in most areas, and everyone hustling and bustling around to get chores completed before the magic date of December 24. It seemed appropriate to think about what would make for wonderful gifts for librarians. The past couple of years have not been kind, financially, to librarians all over the world. The need to advocate, preserve and protect libraries is more important now then ever. To name a few of the issues causing anxiety among librarians are budget cuts, staff layoffs, and less programming. Adding insult to injury is the increase demand for computer access, digital downloads and instructive workshops from resumes to cooking. These are a small piece of a very large picture that have made librarians echo Scrooge with "Bah Humbugs!" Wouldn't the season be brighter if people who are passionate about libraries would adorn our trees with the following gifts? For a brief moment, bask in the dream of these "miracle" gifts for libraries.

On the First Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me...

A blue bird in a huge money tree.

What library doesn't dream of a money tree that would magically appear when budgets are tight and demand is high. If a money tree is out of the question, the blue bird of happiness would be just as welcomed. Libraries are in need of happier times.

On the Second Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Two computer learning labs.
A salute to all librarians in schools, universities and public libraries too, who educate patrons to navigate the Internet so that they may be savvy information collectors. Computer labs equipped with the best that technology has to offer is just the beginning to better library users.

On the Third Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Three Fantastic Grants for library programs.
On a practical level, not many libraries have the ability to give time to writing grants these days. With staff layoffs and uncertainty of libraries remaining open, librarians are spending more time on the reference desk and less time with finding grants. If the world were a perfect place, grants would be awarded by the snap of a finger.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Four Elected Officials Calling
If elected officials were to come into the library on a regular bases, they would quickly learn how much the community needs the library. Libraries are the foundation of every neighborhood, yet traditionally it is the first department to be cut. Consider this question for a moment: Would my elected official be less willing to cut the library's budget if they witnessed how the library was used daily? If the answer is "yes", it's time to start calling those officials.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Five Full-time Librarians on duty, day or night.
There really is no need for explanations for this gift, is there? Part-time librarians are not only damaging the image of the "professionalism" of librarians but it is also a bad management trend.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Six Generous Donations
Donations can come in all shapes and sizes. From donated books, computers to checks, all donations are welcomed at the library.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Seven bookcases filled with the latest bestsellers fiction.
Why only seven book stacks filled? Honestly it could be more, but why portray librarians as greedy?

On the Eighth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Eight Marvelous budgets saving electronic databases
There are so many electronic databases that are out of reach for most librarians. Wouldn't it be nice to have access to eight databases that would cover the needs of all patrons? Yes, it may be true that this is a tall order but we are going for the miracle angle.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Nine Successful Fundraising projects.
Add to that fundraising projects that do not take up staff time and energy. Practically speaking for all libraries, this is not an outlandish request.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Ten Awesome Book discussions for every reader.
If librarians want circulation to go up, getting patrons fired up about a book is the best way to achieve that goal.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Eleven library geeks spreading the library news!
If libraries had geeks that would spread the good news about the library daily, much of the Public relations hurdle that libraries face would be removed. Look around the library, there may be eleven library geeks waiting to be discovered!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my True Library Love gave to me..

Twelve authors at the library.
An author to visit the library every month of the year would be a wonderful gift to receive. It would be the best illustration of how the written word and libraries have been and always will be a great partnership. A marriage made in heaven so to speak.

Here's a wish that every library receives at least one of the items from the library's Twelve Days of Christmas. If your library's twelve days would be filled with different items, don't be shy about sending in suggestions.
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