Sunday, June 24, 2007

Keep the Ideas Coming, Please!

I continue to receive more blog comments in response to my post on a new vision for regional services to Michigan's libraries, so be sure to check on the comments there periodically to see what your colleagues have to say on the subject. Additionally, I am continually receiving emails, letters, phone calls, and taking in conversational comments in person. I am trying to respond to each missive received, but at this point in the process, I'm essentially in listening mode -- not defending my ideas as posted and not expressing my agreement or disagreement with the input and ideas I'm receiving. If you have not heard back from me with regard to a response you've provided, please know that I am logging your comments and appreciate your input. There is no such thing as too many ideas on such an important topic.

In addition to individual comments from directors, staff, trustees, and patrons, various interest groups of people are providing their combined input. The library cooperative directors are completing their recommendations. I've received a letter from a significant number of directors of large southeast Michigan public libraries. Members of a specific library cooperative have provided a letter summarizing their recent discussion and consensus of opinion. And, I had the opportunity to visit the Oakland County Public Libraries Trustees Association last week, where I could share some more of my thoughts, but more importantly, was able to hear their ideas first hand. On July 26th, after my annual vacation in the first half of July, I will be heading up to Marquette to meet with Upper Peninsula library directors and staff. (They will also be hosting Michigan Library Association Executive Director Gretchen Couraud later this week on June 29th.)

So, the conversation is definitely in full swing. The ideas are flowing. And, now that the FY07 budget resolution is behind us, hopefully the FY08 budget situation will be known in the near future. If you have not had the chance to let me know your ideas, concerns, hopes and needs for future regional and statewide support for library services, please consider sending me (and Gretchen, your cooperative director, and any others) your comments, so that a maximum of ideas can be on the table for consideration by all interested parties by the end of the summer.

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