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Would you like to learn about a simple, effective strategy that will make you, your library, and our profession indispensable? It does not require changing anything we do. What is involved? Modifying what we say.
Based on the instructor’s award-winning article, “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work: Perception is Everything” (Public Libraries, PLA/ALA, Vol. 48, No. 5, Sept./Oct. 2009, p. 24–32), this webinar describes a straightforward concept that enables libraries to heighten their importance by replacing traditional terms with powerful, intuitive, value-enhanced terminology that people understand. Learn how strategic vocabulary can immediately convey your true value—even to someone who has never set foot in a library.
Most importantly, transforming our image through strategic vocabulary involves categorizing all that libraries do under the complete definition of education. Learn how applying the easy-to-visualize “Three Pillars” positions your library as a major component of your region's strong education system—along with public schools, colleges and universities. Why might we want to align ourselves with education? Because it's what the world values most. And what is valued… gets funded. This archived webinar was originally presented May 18, 2011.
About the Authors
Valerie J. Gross has served as President and CEO of Howard County (Md.) Library System (HCLS) for 10 years. A passionate promoter of libraries, she believes the most effective way to convey the value of libraries is to speak in value-enhanced, intuitive terms people understand. Ms. Gross has led the process to reposition HCLS as a major component of education, which has resulted in nearly tripled library visits (1M to 2.6M), the more than doubling of materials borrowed (3M to 7.2M), research assistance interactions exceeding 1.3M annually, and yearly attendance at classes and events totaling 186K—in a county with 282,000 residents.
Ms. Gross credits the HCLS Board of Trustees, Howard County Executive, Howard County Council, Maryland State Legislators, Friends of HCLS, philanthropic partners, devoted volunteers, dynamic community, and, most importantly, HCLS’ innovative staff, for repositioning HCLS as “one of the nation’s great public library systems” (American Libraries, November 2009).
The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.