In my March 25, 2009 blog post I was meandering on a variety of topics as I rejoiced in the coming of spring. In the post I had a paragraph questioning how far should the library go in employing technology in communicating with our public. Now eight months later the question is still there. However, the answer I am prepared to give is somewhat different.

Since, March I have a better understanding of the need to reach today’s library user through formats that they use on a regular basis.  Recently the library established  a Facebook page where basic library information is presented and the user is directed towards  our main web presence for more detailed information on programs and services. In the near future the library will begin a Twitter presence where short messages may be sent on a regular basis alerting users to library programs and services.

Last week at the Williamsburg Library location the library’s first digital display monitor was installed.  We are currently learning about the digital display system and experimenting with presentation options.  As a user waits at the circulation desk or comes through the library plaza entry doors (one of three into the building, but that is another future blog entry) they may view local weather, national news and power point presentations of current library programs.  Our system will allow each monitor to present specific information relating to its placement within either library facility. Thus, a monitor in the youth area would have information on youth programs and services and a monitor in the adult area would contain information relating to offerings for adults. I anticipate adding additional monitors as funding permits.

A current incident is a painful reminder that good regular communication is essential. The Virginia Library Association completed its 2009 Annual Conference the end of October. This past week was the Annual Conference of the Virginia Educational Media Association. At that conference vendors discovered that next year both Associations will be holding their conferences on the same dates in communities less than 50 miles apart. As many vendors attend both conferences this would force vendors to choose between conferences or have a lesser presence at one of the conferences. There are also individuals who participate in both conferences and would have to make the same choices.  This is not good for either Association.

As president of the Virginia Library Association, I have spent time communicating during the past few days with our executive director to see what could  be done to rectify this situation. Due to her negotiations and the hotel’s willingness to accommodate Association needs the date of next fall’s Association conference was changed to a week earlier in October 2010.   I am delighted that the Virginia Library Association was able to adjust the dates of our 2010 Annual Conference to enable vendor and individual participation at both conferences in 2010.

This situation could have been avoided if there were better communication between these two organizations within the Commonwealth of Virginia. I can assure you that such communication will be better in the future!

So long for now!

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