Donna George, MLS, Director of Product Management
When I started my work in public libraries over 30 years ago, would I have guessed that I would be managing a branch library right about now? Not so much. Like many folks in many different professions, a few interests and decisions along the way have led me to a much different place. As Director of Product Management at Ingram Library Services, I’m thrilled to be working with hundreds of libraries and thousands of librarians across the country.
Working for a library vendor puts us in a unique position to hear about successes, issues, and trends at the macro level. We are in libraries every day, hearing your stories and sharing in your frustrations. We are constantly trying to understand the landscape to better serve our library customers.
We make sense of the landscape in many ways. We talk about it all the time and our learnings turn into new services, webinars, bibliographies, and PODCASTS!
We recently launched Season 3 of Two Librarians And A Microphone , a library podcast series where Ingram discusses trends and topics of interest to librarians. I was excited to participate in season three with two coworkers from our sales team – Jim Heuer and Tricia Bengel. Jim served as “the microphone” (and a good one indeed), while Tricia and I were the librarians. In Season 3, we focus on the role of libraries and librarians in our current politicized world. Topics in Season 3 include:
- Library Neutrality. This is a big topic for libraries right now, and was the subject of the President’s speech at ALA Midwinter. Hear about our personal experience with this as librarians, plus what’s going on out in the field.
- Fake News. What role to libraries play in identifying and/or educating communities about fake news? Is there a role for libraries as news disseminator?
- Civility. We live in a divided world. What can libraries teach us about good behavior and lively, civil discourse?
- Bold Programming . Examples of programming and outreach by public libraries that definitely generated reactions! How does all of this resolve the initial question about neutrality?
As a librarian, doing the research to prepare for the podcast was probably the most gratifying part of the process. We were able to find both books and articles that tie into the stories we hear from you. One example was learning that 78% of people in a recent poll believe that their libraries provide them with credible information (compared to a similar poll measuring a similar trust in journalists – with less favorable results). This was a huge revelation, and made us even more excited and honored to be flexing our librarian muscles in this podcast way.
We definitely had a tough act to follow. The first two seasons of Two Librarians And A Microphone were delivered by some of our Collection Development librarians and focused on topics around both Juvenile (Season 1) and Adult (Season 2) topics of interest, including:
- Media and Information Literacy for Young People
- Empowered Kids: Young Activist Authors
- Diversity in Publishing
- Social and Emotional Learning
- Libraries Supporting Communities
- Innovative Library Programs & Collections
- Escapism: Reading to Relax and Recharge
- The Gig Economy: Supporting Patrons Seeking Nontraditional Work
Ingram Library Services is proud to be your vendor and your partner in the important work of public libraries. We are more than just materials and services. We understand your challenges and we connect you with resources that make your work easier and more meaningful. We are all a part of #thelibrarylife.
As we plan for Season 4, we would love to feature your stories in our podcast. Think long and hard about, “What they didn’t teach me in library school.” We can't wait to hear what you have to say!