Kristi Mishler, Grand Forks, column: This week, ‘Speak Up for Your Library’The Knight Foundation thinks informed and engaged communities, as well as libraries are important components of a healthy community. We think so, too.
By: Kristi Mishler,
By Kristi Mishler
GRAND FORKS — If you think the library is about dusty old books, please think again.
According to Wikipedia, “Modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. They are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing tremendous amounts of information with a variety of digital tools.”
So, I wonder: Do we have an opportunity to transform our aging traditional public library into a hub for information and community activities?
Perhaps it’s our responsibility to do so.
“Digital access is essential to first class citizenship in our society. Without digital, you lack full access to information, you are second class economically and even socially,” says Alberto Ibarguen, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation.
“If a job application at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s must be made online, how can we pretend that we have equal opportunity if significant portions of our communities don’t have access? Libraries can be part of the solution.”
The Knight Foundation thinks informed and engaged communities, as well as libraries are important components of a healthy community. We think so, too.
That is why the Community Advisory Committee for the Knight Foundation donor advised fund — Herald publisher and editor Mike Jacobs, Grand Forks mayor’s assistant Pete Haga and myself — decided to recommend a grant to fund “Speak Up for Your Library”.
Throughout the next five days, area residents will be getting information through donated time and space from our local media partners: the Herald, WDAZ, Leighton Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications of Grand Forks.
Each day, a topic related to a library will be featured. The topics are
** Monday, Nov. 15: Vision and purpose
** Tuesday, Nov. 16: Programming and technology
** Wednesday, Nov. 17: Potential partnerships
** Thursday, Nov. 18: Location and facility
** Friday, Nov. 19: Funding
Information will be shared, and residents’ opinions are requested. In addition, there will be a community conversation on Wednesday at the Senior Center (11:15 a.m.) and the Grand Forks Public Library.
Residents might even get a phone call requesting a brief personal conversation.
Do you have an opinion about the Grand Forks Public Library? Want to share it?
We would like to hear your feedback — whether it’s positive, negative or neutral — about anything and everything happening with the library.
There are multiple ways you can be heard. Visit www.speakupforyourlibrary.com to access resources.
Chime in on the Grand Forks Public Library’s Facebook page or post comments to our blog at www.speakupforyourlibrary.wordpress.com. Starting Monday, Nov. 15, participate in a four-minute survey for a chance to win an iPad.
Wherever you’re talking, we’re listening. If you don’t speak up for your library, who will?
Speak Up for Your Library is a project funded by the Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region.
Mishler is executive director of the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.