Monday, December 22, 2008

Are YOU Valuable?

In these days of shrinking budgets, it's more important than ever that librarians be able to show that their libraries provide value. After all, you don't want to be the "fat" that gets trimmed when your organization tightens its belt (sorry for the mixed metaphor)!

AJL wants to help YOU prevent such a dire situation. That is why we are flying Joanne Roukens down from New Jersey to offer her acclaimed "VALUING LIBRARIES" workshop!

On Thursday, January 8, 2009, from 10am to about 3 or 4pm, Joanne will lead us through hands-on exercises that any library can use to clearly demonstrate its value to patrons, management, and other stakeholders. She'll teach us to evaluate our programs and services, calculate the "return on investment" to our institutions, and articulate the value of our libraries in a demonstrable way.

I attended this workshop when it was held at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention last June in Cleveland, OH, and I must tell you that it was absolutely amazing. Not only is Joanne an intelligent and entertaining speaker, but the importance of the content is absolutely crucial to libraries. The tough economic times make it especially relevant, but we all know that libraries need to prove their value at all times, so that we don't get taken for granted. Although the program is coming to South Florida on a work day, I'd say it's absolutely worth missing one day of work for a session that can help your library on such a profound level.

The workshop will be held at CAJE (Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education) in Miami, at 4200 Biscayne Blvd. There is no charge for the program (original $15 fee has been waived!), and kosher lunch will be provided to participants for free. RSVP is required: email

Joanne Roukens was named the New Jersey Library Association's 2007 Librarian of the Year. She's the Executive Director of Highlands Regional Library Cooperative in Denville, NJ, which serves 975 libraries in a 7-county region. Above, you can see Joanne's terrific attitude, as she poses with the NJLA SuperLibrarian mascot.

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