Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 18





Librarians Watch Podcasts in Exhibits

Jason Reynolds on Libraries Within Us

» from page 1
to be encouraged to share their personal
and unique reactions to sometimes common human experiences.   By design, the
sections of Reynold's keynote resembled the
storytelling structure of his newest book,
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
(Simon and Schuster, 2018).
"We need to keep sharing and appre-

ciating narratives that are not our own,"
Reynolds emphasized. "This is how people
become safe spaces, and remain walking,
talking references for each other," he said.
With song and story, Reynolds showed the
audience how stories - and, by extension,
the libraries which provide them - are truly
sacred. He encouraged librarians to continue
their work as architects who build human
libraries into living stores of information,
which transcend physical places, to ensure

A main feature of the Sound Garden was the Live from the 25 Podcast
Booth. Throughout the event, attendees watched podcasts being recorded
live. Topics ranged from country music and children's books, to tree
dreams, to the art of enchantment, and much more.

ALA Executive Director Opportunity
Libraries are an iconic feature of American life. In study after study, libraries are
ranked among the public's most trusted
sources of information. They have introduced users to the joy of learning and the
magic of books; have offered a safe and
productive haven for study, research and
reflection; and have transformed users' lives
through educational programs and community resources. Not only have America's
libraries changed the lives of many of their
users, they themselves have transformed as
societal needs, technology, and other forces
in the economy have dramatically reshaped
their role and nature. Libraries of all types
have adapted to the digital age and are
committed to meeting the evolving needs
of their communities.
In July 2017, Executive Director Keith

Michael Fiels retired after serving the
American Library Association (ALA) for 15
years. His tenure was marked by important
developments in the field and the association.
Mary Ghikas, formerly senior associate executive director, is now serving as the executive
director. Ghikas will serve as the executive
director through ALA's midwinter meeting,
in January 2020.  Upon the start of a new
executive director, Ghikas will become the
deputy executive director and she will work
to support the orientation and transition of
the new executive director through ALA's
annual conference in June 2020.
ALA seeks a dynamic, innovative, entrepreneurial, and experienced leader as its next
executive director. Founded in 1876, ALA is
the world's oldest and largest library association and promotes the work of libraries and

the value of professional library and information science education. It advocates for issues
and values that are important to the field and
to a free and open information society. ALA
achieves these goals through its programs,
publications, conferences, professional development, and outreach work. The Association,
headquartered in Chicago, Ill. represents over
58,000 members, has a staff of 260, and an
annual budget of $52 million. The ALA also
has an office in Washington, DC.
The position of executive director of
the American Library Association offers an
extraordinary and exciting opportunity to
champion, represent, and support one of
the most trusted and valuable institutions in
American society. The next executive director will be able to leverage the organization's
strong reputation and the passion and dedi-

cation of the Association's members, staff,
and elected leaders to build even stronger
support for libraries, those who work in
them, and the millions of users who benefit
from them.
ALA will offer a competitive salary based
on experience. ALA offers a comprehensive
and valuable benefits package that includes
generous paid vacation and retirement annuity.
ALA has engaged Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with
this important search. To contact them,
please email Marc St. Hilaire (msthilaire@ or Pamela Pezzoli ( For additional
information about this opportunity, please

How to Hug a Porcupine? Tell Them a Story
By Elizabeth Uchimura, Florida State University

The United for Libraries President's Program invited Bradford Fitch, president and
CEO of the Congressional Management
Foundation (CMF), to speak on June 23
about effective advocacy strategies at local,
state, and federal levels. Fitch emphasized
the impactful role of storytelling and
personal identification when communicating with representatives at any level of
government. Drawing from his extensive
experience on Capitol Hill, Fitch outlined
preferred methods of advocacy at the
national level that easily transfer in most
other situations.
Fitch described the environment on
Capitol Hill as an emergency room - a lot
of people working long hours and making
big decisions that affect other people's lives.
On average, congress members can work up
to 70 hours per week during the legislative
session, taking on an average of 13 meet-

ings each day. The goal of advocacy, then,
is "to build a relationship so that when the
meeting's done, they think about you and
your issue."
Here are some of the ways that Fitch and
the CMF have found to be the most effective when contacting any representative:
Identify yourself and your activity in the
community that they serve.
Mass emails, phone calls, or letters without some type of personalized reference to
your role in the community garner significantly less response from representatives because they are less able to make a connection
with you. Fitch stressed that librarians and
library staff operate within a unique sphere
of influence called "grasstops" that includes
organization leaders, business owners, and
elected officials within a community. Since
these leaders represent bigger swaths of their
area, they also carry more clout to leverage
with their representatives.

Tell a personal story
Effective advocacy means wooing with
facts and getting others to back the cause,
Fitch explained, which is best done through
storytelling. Representatives, at their core,
are serving people, and the more that you
can humanize their work and their ability to
work for you, the better. Fitch's tips for bringing the most effective story to the table are:
ƒ Begin with the end in mind - know
what you're specifically asking of your
ƒ Set the stage and paint a picture of
what's at stake - be as descriptive as
ƒ Explain the struggle or fight that you're
ƒ Include a surprise that makes the story
ƒ Introduce the potential for success
and joy
ƒ Finish with a hook
ƒ Connect in person and online

Representatives still value in-person
meetings the most, which can be achieved
through office meetings, town hall attendance, or invitations for the representative to
attend events at the library or business. Social
media also continues to gain traction with
representatives if you still identify yourself
and your activity in the community.
Remain civil and respectful
While the topic may be contentious,
representatives are human too, and respond
better to respectful discourse over anger. Being able to articulate both sides of an issue
and remind your representative that you
understand their position can go a long way
to creating and maintaining an impactful
connection with your representative.
Fitch closed with a perfect quote from
Thomas Jefferson: "We in America do not
have government by the majority. We have
government by the majority who participate."

Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights

Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - Inside
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 2
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 3
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 4
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 5
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 6
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 7
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 8
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 9
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 10
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 11
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 12
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 13
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 14
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 15
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 16
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 17
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 18
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 19
Cognotes 2019 Annual Conference Highlights - 20