Indeed, they are, and in ways that can be quantified and enumerated and used to bolster support.
This was Ken Haycock's very essential point in his 2 blog posts on July 25th regarding the brouhaha. Advocacy that appears self-serving will do more harm than good. Instead, craft advocacy messages that
- show an ability to connect with patrons;
- are based on data that documents unique value;
- result from relationships with decision makers;
- reflect an understanding of priorities;
- offers solutions, not problems.
It is this kind of service that turns a dining experience - regardless of the food - from merely good to sublime.
Back here in Toronto Councillors themselves have already foregone a salary increase and cut office budgets. While many will call this purely symbolic, the fact is real dollars are involved, dollars that hopefully will be used in some front line service activity.
I'm not sure any library of any kind can ever achieve that seamless perfect service. Inevitably the choice of one resource denies the possibility of another. I have purchased many books simply because my Library doesn't have them, or has only a single non-lending copy. I have read yet many more books I did not even know existed because of all the materials my Library did acquire, and it was just there on the shelf waiting for me.
And I think this is where we find the beauty, power and value of Public Libraries - with so much to learn in such a big world, the Public Library brings it down to scale.
Even down to a single shelf:
|what do you want to learn? you'll find it @ your library!|