“Everything Old is New Again” is the title of a 1999 article in American Libraries by Douglas Raber, author of the excellent and eye-opening book, Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry. The article suggests that the Inquiry, a comprehensive assessment of public librarianship initiated by ALA in the late 1940’s, continues to be relevant to libraries today. While in library school I discovered Raber’s book in the stacks of Cleveland Public Library. The book was so inspiring that I got ahold of 3 of the 7 volumes of the Inquiry (thank you, CPL!) and read them also.
Now the next piece in my story: My colleague Keith Curry Lance had recom- mended a podcast series to me. It is called “Longshots” and is broadcast by Sarah Long, Executive Director of the North Suburban Library System outside Chicago. I decided to take a listen and chose a December 2008 interview with Cathy de Rosa and Jenny Johnson, primary authors of the OCLC study, From Funding To Awareness: A Study of Library Support in America. A couple of months ago I studied the first half of this voluminous and highly graphicized report. In case I never got back to the second half, I thought I’d see how the audio book version went. [Read more…]