Did you miss hearing Michael Sullivan speak at the recent Northeastern Maine Library District Fall (NMLD) Council meeting in October? What a thought-provoking presentation!
According to Michael Sullivan, public libraries are in trouble. Slashed budgets, librarian shortages, governmental and social pressure on library collections and policies, even the closing of many public libraries around the country. Meanwhile, library advocates smugly claim that the public library will never go away, and technological futurists confidently assert that public libraries will go the way of the horse and buggy.
What are the real challenges and the real dangers? What is merely mirage? If public libraries really are in danger, what can we do to assure a place in the future? Michael Sullivan, a true library maverick, challenged every assumption about public libraries as he spoke at the NMLD Fall council meeting.
(Michael Sullivan is the former director of the Greenland, Stratham and Center Harbor public libraries and an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston.)