Sue Considine, an independent consultant and former Executive Director of the Fayetteville NY Public Library, and Ben Bizzle, CEO, Library Market and Co-author, Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library (ALA, 2014) are writing a book It’s All About the Story to be published by ALA. Libraries are the one place in a community where all are equal and are a place of belonging for all citizens. Nothing demonstrates this more than maker, experiential, and collective experiences. The power of making is a social infrastructure. Our work is essential to our communities and helps us understand why we remain in the industry despite all the difficulties. We know that our good work saves lives. Sue started the Fab Lab in the Fayetteville Library which changed the lives of people in the community. Some people on the fringes of the community feel that the library is their home; we are their equalizer.
Ben’s book was a traumatic life-changing experience. His forthcoming book co-authored with Sue is on why we do the things we do and the importance of that. You never know what a user’s needs are. Sue and Ben have collected stories from around the industry. The impact we have on people’s lives is amazing. Although librarians may not get paid well, they got into the industry because they wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes what seems to be the most mundane of reference transactions turns out to be the most meaningful interaction of the day. We can make people feel like they are not alone and make a difference in their lives.
The session concluded with the audience members sharing some of their stories.