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Christine Wigfall Morris Signing at North Greenwood Library Branch

Christine Wigfall Morris

This Friday, Nov 19 from 3-6 pm, the Clearwater Library System will host a book signing for Christine Wigfall Morris, the first Black Librarian in the Clearwater Library System, at the North Greenwood Library Branch in Clearwater. Christine started working as a librarian in Clearwater, Florida, in 1949.  She  had never stepped foot in one of the city’s libraries before accepting the position. She has published her life story about family, community, and history. To see the event registration click here.



USF SLIS Student Publishes Article in Digital Florida Libraries

FLA banner

The Florida Library Association (FLA)’s semi-annual publication, Florida Libraries, has stepped up to the digital age by moving from print to an online format.  The prestigious publication’s fall 2010 issue has just been released in a full-color digital edition.

In addition to the new format, this publication features, again, an article by a University of South Florida, School of Library and Information Science’s graduate student.  Judiann M. Rakes’ article, titled:  “The Power of Partnerships: Opening Children’s Minds Through Collaborative Early Learning Programs,” reports on the collaborative partnership developed between the Volusia County’s Daytona Beach Regional Library and the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia (ELCFV.) In times when collaboration is seen as a potential way of maximizing resources, Rakes’ article highlights a successful model that could be followed in other parts of the State.


USF SLIS Student Judiann Rakes

USF SLIS Graduate Student Judiann M. Rakes.


It was a pleasure interviewing all the people mentioned in the article.  Plus, I hope the article inspires the formation of additional efficient community partnerships,” Rakes said.

The fall 2010 edition of Florida Libraries can be accessed by FLA members at their website.


SLIS at SEFLIN 2010 Regional Conference

Over 270 library employees from the southeast Florida region attended the July 22nd annual regional SEFLIN (Southeast Florida Library Information Network) Conference.  This year’s theme was “LibTech 2010:  Services on a Shoestring.”

The attendees gathered at the Kovens Conference Center on the Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus to hear keynote speaker Sarah Houghton-Jan, San Jose Public Library, speak on the effects of technology increases and budgets cuts on libraries and how these will shape the library of the future.  Several USF/SLIS alumni made presentations on topics ranging from using Facebook to reach users, sharpening search skills using popular search engines, free Internet resources in place of databases, and serving distance learners.  These included Meagan Albright (Nova Southeastern University), Daniel Tan (Broward College), Lauri Rebar (Florida Atlantic University), Bebe Chang (Broward County Library), and Sunem Beaton-Garcia (Broward College).

SLIS was one of 17 exhibitors at the conference.  Representing SLIS was Maria Almaguer Treadwell, coordinator of the East Coast Program.

Food for thought from TBLC Strategic Reality Check

Tampa Bay Library Consortium

TBLC hosted a “Strategic Reality Check” workshop at Fruitville Library on Monday, May 17, 2010. The workshop was led by professional library consultants George Needham and Joan Frye Williams. This was an opportunity for area library professionals to examine ways they might reassess the success with which their libraries were serving patrons. The idea was to do so without scrapping missions and strategic plans and other long-range, expensive and time-consuming initiatives.

There were concerns about user friendliness and some novel ideas exchanged during the process. One of these was offered by a Pinellas County librarian who explained a novel acquisitions effort underway at her library. She explained that they’d observed an approximate waiting list number which, when reached, made waiting for bestsellers unattractive. At this point, patrons were more inclined to go by the book at a bookseller than to wait for a library copy. Their solution was to offer patrons the opportunity to purchase the book they sought on behalf of the library with the privilege of being the first to borrow it. They might then take a tax deduction for donating the book. A piece of the library’s acquisitions budget would then be freed for other purposes.

Another burgeoning concept with possible wider implications was outlined by Mr. Needham and Ms. Frye Williams. They asked participants to list major life passages such as retirement, starting a family, battling cancer, going to college, etc. They proposed the possibility of organizing the physical (and electronic) collections under these headings and explained that a public library in Europe was already working with it.

Finally, one small observation had to do with the hoops we require patrons to jump through in order to obtain a library card. This one might or might not have an easy fix to it. If we’re able to (and accustomed to) easily establish a user account at the web site of a commercial enterprise and retrieve lost passwords easily at these places, why then do we require potential library users to show up with photo ID in person along with proof of their physical address in order to use the public library?  Someone moving to a new town may possibly have a more difficult time obtaining a library card than they would changing over their drivers’ license.

Thanks to TBLC for access to this food for thought.

[AB, 5/25/2010]

“Public Librarianship” in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences

Public Librarianship

Authors: Kathleen de la Peña McCook and Katharine J. Phenix


Public librarians are the community’s cultural support as providers of lifelong learning, reading, information provision, and a vibrant public sphere for people of all ages. Public librarians provide access to books and all varieties of media to meet the needs of people for education, information, and personal development. This entry focuses on public librarianship as it is practiced in the United States with a brief history of the field’s development in two parts: beginnings to 1966 when the field used a national service model and 1966 to the present with a community-based focus. The education, certification, and working conditions of public librarians are reviewed. The philosophical and ethical worldview of practice with a human rights ethos is described. Finally, current (2009) issues in public librarianship are stated.
Keywords: Adult services; African Americans; American Library Association; American Library Association-Allied Professional Association; Human rights; Immigrants; International Federation of Library and Information Institutions; Lifelong learning; Literacy; Outreach; Poverty; Public Library Inquiry; Public Librarianship; Public Librarians; Social responsibility; Unions; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Women; Youth services. 

Available February 2010.

Access through USF Library.

Midnight restoration of funding to FL libraries

from Florida Library Association (4/27/2010)

State Aid – Budget Chairs Restore State Funding to Public Libraries to $21.2 Million
At midnight on Monday, April 26 the House accepted a Senate offer to restore State Aid to Public Libraries to the current year level of $21.2 million.

FL Senate Budget Director J.D. Alexander


When Senate Budget Chair J. D. Alexander made the offer, he asked if “the library guy” with the signs was in the room. The library guy we all know is Paul Clark who has pretty much lived in the Capitol keeping the issue in front of legislators and the press for 6 weeks. Senator Alexander was disappointed that Paul wasn’t there and said that other advocates could learn a lot from him. There, working the issue until midnight were FLA lobbyist Chris Lyon, Small County Coalition coordinator Chris Doolin, and a whole contingent from the Department of State including Secretary Kurt Browning, Legislative Liaison Rivers Buford III, and John Boynton. This group barely left the Capitol all weekend long. Chris Doolin had a very positive impact for libraries, especially on Sunday morning. The folks from the Florida Association of Counties, and many county lobbyists have been working the issue aggressively as well.
For the past two months library advocates have worked tirelessly to tell the library story. The Salter>Mitchell public relations folks distributed press releases for FLA at several critical junctures. FLA’s CapWiz wizard, Lisa Manners did an incredible job of keeping the message fresh with the result that library advocates generated over 60,000 messages in the last six weeks.
Thanks to everyone for their incredible efforts and congratulations on the wonderful success!
Charlie Parker, Chair
FLA Legislative Committee

Florida Library Association


Most popular librarian in Florida!

(Paul Clark, a systems librarian for the Wilderness Coast Public Library, holds a sign outside of the Florida Senate. Clark is known as “The Library Guy,” in the Capitol. Photo by Scott Keeler, Times)

The man they call “the library guy,” Paul Clark, returned to the Capitol Tuesday carrying a simple, happy message: “Thank you.”