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Urban Libraries Council Executive Director speaks at TBLC Annual Meeting

On Friday, November 6th the Tampa Bay Library Consortium held its annual meeting at the Tampa Bay History Center. This year’s meeting marked the 30th anniversary of the organization and its theme was “Shining Bright for 30 Years.” The meeting’s keynote speaker was Susan Benton, the recently appointed executive director of the Urban Libraries Council. Benton spoke about the need for librarians to market the essential services that they provide to city or county managers and elected officials. She emphasized the important role that librarians will play as society shifts from an industrial age to an information age. Benton warned that librarians are dangerously humble and must raise their visibility in a time when there is a struggle to convince state and local governments of the necessity to fund libraries when all types of services are being cut back and reduced. She described the work that the Urban Libraries council does to help position libraries within national and local politics and to connect what libraries do to the strategic issues of their communities. Benton closed by declaring librarianship an audacious profession and theorizing that the success of the United States is due to its strong tradition of public libraries and the equity and education that they provide to its citizens.

Susan Benton

Urban Libraries Council executive director Susan Benton speaks at TBLC annual meeting on November 6th.


In attendance from SLIS were Director Jim Andrews, Dr. Anna Perrault, Communication and Information Officer Jessica Voss, and Graduate Assistant Liz Gray.



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