July 23, 2006

1st session at the COSLA State Library Leadership Institute

We are all meeting in the Pyle Center at the Univ of WI at Madison. Gary Nichols, COSLA President, welcomed the group and talked a little bit about state library leadership and how during this institute we can hone these skills to move libraries forward. Louise Robbins, Director of the Library School also provided a welcome and talked briefly about library leadership. Jane Pearlmutter, Associate Director of the Library School provided some logistics and then we went around and introduced ourselves. The Idaho State Library has recently become the Idaho Commission on Libraries and they have given away their collection to libraries in the state. http://www.lili.org/isl/about.htm

Betsey Bayless, CEO of the Maricopa Intedgrated Health Systems and Arizona's 17th Secretary of State spoke about Leadership in State Government. http://www.mihs.org/newsevents/080405.html

She mentioned that famous quote: Information is the Currency of Democracy, Thomas Jefferson. She mentioned the importance of chronicling the history of states through libraries and archives. She talked about building 'champions' for the library to advocate and support libraries in the future. Let them know what you need, building community stakeholders, and coalitions through education of the importance of libraries. She said that it is important to promote what you do - let politicians know who you are and what you do. She talked about the first time she heard the phrase "Information Superhighway" and the complete revolution in the way information is presented, how it is stored and how information is accessed. She did talk about how important it is for libraries to be integrated in the all new technologies. She said that groups such as this are important for us to have to have an opportnity to learn from one another on common problems and issues. One interesting thing she talked about was the "pwer of personality" - communication is the most important thing when making big and important changes.

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