The Sweet Spot – Arizona & Libraries

By Amber Mathewson

As I was driving to work this morning and facing another beautiful February day in southern Arizona, I realized that this time of year is the “sweet spot” for us. It is so cool in the mornings and evenings, with clear skies for most of the day and gentle (or not-so gentle) breezes. The flip-flops come out and we all have that slightly giddy feeling that is reminiscent of spring break or an anticipated trip to Disneyland.

This feels like the “sweet spot” in history for libraries too. We have come into our own. Whether you work in an academic, public, special, corporate or school library, there couldn’t be a better time. Sure there are always times of better funding, but the information age truly belongs to libraries. Information sharing and technological advances have put at our finger tips the power to help people almost instantly and WE get to share that every single day.

A friend shared an article with me recently that indicated today’s libraries are centered on education, technology and community. Of course we are! We have always been focused on education and community and the tools (technology) needed to support those efforts. I had the opportunity to sit in on a phone conference with deputy directors from around the nation today who are talking about fabulous initiatives in connecting public schools with public libraries, and systems that are structuring their management to better align with community needs and strategic initiatives.

More and more I hear people talking about libraries in the news, whether it be “little free libraries” or mayors returning 70-year-old books. There is a joy and excitement with people talking about their library story. This year I have been caught up in who will be the next Librarian of Congress.

Although I have been alive for the last two Librarian of Congress appointments, I can’t say that I remember being excited or even knowing it was happening. If President Obama’s nomination is approved by the Senate, Dr. Carla Hayden will become the librarian of congress. It is not required that the Librarian of Congress actually be a professional librarian, so this too brings excitement to the process that a LIBRARIAN has been named! Some of my excitement may be that the Library of Congress always makes me think of the movie The Librarian, but on a deeper level it makes me so very proud that we have a Library of Congress and that the Librarian of Congress is one of US, who has worked in our shoes and will be in a position to help bring even more light to the movement of how libraries transform lives, communities and our world.

Please save the date for the AzLA Regional Forum that will be listed elsewhere in the newsletter:

Hosted by the City of Casa Grande Public Library
Thursday, April 21, 2016
8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Vista Grande Public Library
1556 N. Arizola Rd.
Casa Grande, AZ

Leave a Reply