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Hello friends and colleagues,

When you receive this I will be heading to the airport, on my way home from a bicycling trip along the Danube River between Passau, Germany (above) and Budapest, Hungary. I love these kinds of trips, and I find that it's the things I learn along the way that make the trips most meaningful. My very first bike trip, from Paris to London, taught me valuable lessons that I continue to follow to this day! 

Below I'll share a quick update from my panel at the American Library Association conference last month in Washington, DC. I attended many other events, and enjoyed meeting up with many of you!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer, and safe travels.

Cordelia Anderson, APR
CEO and Owner
Cordelia Anderson Consulting L.L.C.
Two weeks ago, I attended the 2019 American Library Association Conference in Washington, DC. It was a great conference and a wonderful opportunity to connect with new and familiar professionals who work in the library industry.

On Saturday, June 22, I presented as part of a Panel Discussion called “Community Engagement as a Mindset,” hosted by OCLC. I was joined by Pam Sandlian Smith, Director, Anythink Libraries and Mary Lou Carolan, Assistant Director, Newburgh Free Library. With such esteemed colleagues, I knew it would be a great conversation, and it was! To quote the event description: “Community needs shift fast. To stay relevant and have the most impact on people’s lives, public libraries have to pivot just as fast.”

Here were some of my favorite quotes from our discussion:

People always tell me, “the Library is the heart of the community, but I disagree. I think the community is the heart of the Library.” – Mary Lou Carolan
You not only need to be at the table [for important community conversations], you need to set the table.” – Pam Sandlian Smith

When Library staff express reluctance about going outside the library, networking, or participating in community events, we need to ask ourselves, “What’s  the worst that could happen?” We might feel uncomfortable or not know what to say? Whereas if we ask ourselves, “What’s the worst that could happen if we
don’t go out and participate?” The answer is much more dire: we run the risk of being irrelevant. – Me

I enjoyed participating in this energizing conversation with fellow passionate public library leaders who are redefining community engagement as a mindset—with customers at the center, inspiring every aspect of the library. Special thanks to Linn Edvardson, Ty Pierce, and everyone at OCLC for inviting me to participate! You can view a recording of the session here, or read an article about it here.

Recommended Reading: Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands

This was recommended by my co-panelist, Pam Sandlian Smith, Director of the innovative and nationally renowned Anythink Libraries in Colorado. Anything does an incredible job of delivering a consistent, professional brand experience; so I can't wait to read this!
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