July 24, 2006

Day two of the COSLA Leadership Institute

This morning, after a filling breakfast (these people know how to eat!) we settled in at the Pyle Center and heard a brief history of the first 100 years of State Libraries by Barratt Wilkins who read his paper on the topic. We then had our first case study "Whose team are you On?" which was my group... This process was very interesting and it was about a state librarian cought between a rock and a hard place, the politics involved, and issues. After a great lunch, we heard from Dennis Dresang, Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs, Director of the Center on State Local, and Tribal Governance in the school of Public Affairs. He gave us a nice overview of the growth of state governments, the capacities of state governments, and the trends. I learned a lot about how states fit in with federal mandates. It was interesting to learn that state individual tax came about in 1913. It was interesting to see which states ranged from heavily democratic to heavily republican.


He also raised some interesting questions about today's political party system being the most strongly two party specific than it has been than in the past. He said that overall, the current form of state government are not as democratic as they used to be. Unfortunately he had to end on the pessimistic note because of all of the problems faced in today's society... There was a lot of discussion at the end of his presentation about the future of politics... My personal opinion is that if politicians thrive on just the power thing, then scientists should isolate the power gene and begin disabling it in all humans. Political power sucks.

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