From the Director...
There is a saying that the more things change the more things stay the same. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in that statement. While this statement is usually intended as a negative, it can also be viewed as positive. Looking back over the past few months it is difficult to comprehend the dramatic changes that have taken place. Yet, many things do remain the same. What should not change are those enduring core qualities that contribute to healthy and productive lives. Libraries are among the core institutions that contribute to the quality of life and to the positive advancement of our neighborhoods, communities, state, and nation.
What is fundamental is often overlooked. As Library Commission staff began visiting public libraries in early 2001, as part of the Making a difference @ your libraryTM project, we soon affirmed what community representatives saw as important and desired both now and in coming years. In the library visits that I have participated in, the traditional services that libraries offer are mentioned early in the conversation as necessary and important. As the conversations continue those basic services expand to include other facets of library service that are desired and valued: the library as a place for personal reading, study, research, and community programs. There is also the value of the library as an information source and service for remote access using the online information resources that libraries can provide. What hasn't changed is that libraries continue to be used for the services they have always provided.
Many libraries have changed in that they have embraced technology and have enabled people to connect with worldwide information resources through library-provided computers, telecommunications, and online information resources. There is an emphasis on providing a place for children to discover and learn, and to develop reading and information literacy skills. There is an emphasis on providing the tools needed for job, business, and educational information needs. There is an emphasis on providing information that is current, relevant, and accurate.
The ideas articulated by people who have participated in the Making a difference library visits are lengthy and imaginative. They provide a sampling of what people expect and want from libraries. As such, they point to library services that are valued and should be sustained and improved, and they point to services that are now imagined and desired.
- Rod Wagner
Funding/Grants FY 2001
Grants Funded FY 2001
Libraries for the 21st Century Grants
Funding FY 2001