Public Libraries Advisory Committee – April–August 2020 Report

The group met 1 time this reporting period.

Recent Activities

First Activity
1. Digital issues. The July/August and September/October issues of PL will be digital only. May/June will be a paper, but we will also provide a digital issues as a sort of test run.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Transformation

Second Activity
2. Themes for 2021 – The group discussed possible themes for the 2021 issue, and also story arcs/ ideas for those themes. Here are some ideas:

Theme: COVID-19 and Public Libraries
Article ideas for this theme:
Virtual programming ( what libraries did and will keep doing in this arenaO
Pandemic policies and procedures created for next time
Advocacy and messaging during the pandemic

Theme: Funding
Article ideas for this theme:
Gaining political support
Back to basics

Theme: Partnerships
Article ideas for this theme:
IMLS Cares Grant and reaching parts of community not normally reached
Partnering to get messages out to vulnerable groups

Theme: Antiracism/Social Justice
Article ideas for this theme:
Fostering antiracism at the library
Alexandria (VA) working to bring attention to a past history of lynchings.
Equal Justice Initiative work (related to above I think, but also in general)
How libraries can be good allies

Theme: Emotional and Psychological Well-Being Staff
Article ideas for this theme:
Emotional cost
Burnout and stress involved with serving the public
Furloughed staff financial and emotional assistance

Theme: The library's role in Economic Recovery
Article ideas for this theme:
Helping people complete govt assistance forms like welfare, food stamps, unemployment, etc.
Providing job and career information services
Theme: Staff training
Article ideas for this theme:
3 perspectives on libraries and how they do their staff training
Secrets to training
Developing an overall training plan
How to become a better trainer
The reluctant trainer
speaking tips
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Transformation

Third Activity
3. Ideas for the Insights column. This is a regular column in PL, which offers advice for library problems. The column editor is seeking questions to address. Here are some suggestions from today's meeting:
How to manage patrons who refuse to social distance and/or wear masks. And related, working with persons with developmental disabilities on social distancing and mask-wearing.
With the onslaught of virtual everything, how do we maintain a connection with customers/patrons.
What is the future of remote work for libraries/librarians? How to manage staff afraid to come back to work.
How to build equity into every segment of the library.
How can my library become more sustainable?
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Organizational Excellence

What will your group be working on for the next six months?
Evaluate impressions of PL digital and decide on future digital issues with the conclusion of the Sept/Oct issue.

Does the group have any policy recommendations, ideas with financial impact, or other items to bring to the PLA Board for discussion or action
Not at this time.

Do you have any suggestions for future products or resources (excluding conference programs) to be developed based on your group’s work?
Not at this time.

Are there other PLA/ALA committees your group might collaborate with to benefit the work of all?
Not at this time.

Have there been any issues related to meeting participation/attendance for any of the group’s members?

Is there anything PLA could have provided during this time that would have helped your group with its work?
Kathleen does such an excellent job providing encouragement and leadership, we have what we need.

Submitted by mary rzepczynski on 09/05/2020