July 26, 2006

Panel on Collaboration and Coalition Building - Day 4 of the COSLA Leadership Institute

Pat Smith, Executive Director of the TX Library Association spoke about linking library standards to state aid. She addressed the characteristics of partners. They have begun to institute some new state aid processes and they are thinking about recognizing public libraries that have been successful in their requirements much like high ranking schools are. You have to have access to a creative pool of collaborators to get the most out of the process of collaboration.

George Needham, VP Membership Services OCLC and former Michigan State Librarian spoke about a collaboration in Michigan to use a large about of LSTA $$ to create a central and simple automated method to reduce paperwork at the local level for a statewide "Access Michigan" electronic service. At the time, it was separate from MeL. Now, it is a part of MeL. He mentioned the book, The Change Function.

Ellsworth Brown, Director of the WI Historical Society, spoke to us about the society itself as well as their 'way of doing business' which is based mostly upon collaboration with many partners to be able to pull together historical information and provide services systemically.

Gladys Ann Wells, AZ State Library and Archives Director spoke to us about the uphill battle she faced initially as a state library director collaborating with state government. She talked about how she works with legislators and that it's important to know the ones you have to go to individually to make collaborations happen well. I really liked one quote she said, "Be ready to allow serendipity." Another important thing she said was, "By the very act of collaboration, you're not in charge."

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