LION President’s Report – 2015
The end of the year is a time to reflect on what we have achieved by working together to deliver valuable services in our respective communities. While every one of our communities has unique needs, there appears to be universal acceptance among us that membership in LION strengthens our libraries and allows us to offer a breadth and depth of materials and services we could not afford on our own. Indeed, the sum is greater than its parts. As a consortium, we have had conversations about growth and capacity, and decided to limit new members based on criteria that includes adjacency to existing members. Toward that end, we look forward to welcoming the Levi E. Coe Library of Middlefield back into the LION den in early 2016.
I continue to be impressed by how cooperatively our libraries work together to make important decisions. Our board meetings are productive and congenial, and even though we come from towns of different sizes and from libraries of different types, we succeed in coming to ready consensus on most issues. I look forward to that continued spirit of collaboration as we launch our next strategic planning process in 2016.
Bob Hull, our treasurer, recently pointed out that the LION budget is beginning to resemble a library budget in that the expense for library materials is growing as we pool our resources and substantially increase our budget for downloadable books and magazines. We owe our thanks to our eBook Development Committee and Lion User Experience Committee members for thoughtfully shaping our downloadable content policies and practices and for their continuous work selecting materials for our shared collection.
The LION staff, a talented, efficient, and nimble team, does outstanding work to assure that our libraries have the systems in place that allow us to focus on streamlined service for our users. They keep us apprised of important technology and library trends and help us run tech savvy libraries. A recent example of this is the smooth implementation and ongoing oversight of eCommerce for our libraries.
Proposed budget cuts to the CT State Library threatened to change the landscape of library service in 2015. LION libraries and the LION staff worked together along with the larger CT library community to fight those cuts. We are fortunate to have Beth Crowley, President of the CT Library Association and LION’s past president leading the advocacy charge. Finally, because we know that LION as a whole is only as strong as its individual members, we were all delighted to learn that the Public Library of New London engaged in a successful advocacy campaign that resulted in a 20% increase in its municipal funding.
Jane Fisher, LION President