MALF Summer Workshops Stress Strategy and Action

Today's blog post comes courtesy of Board Members Joan Larson and Janet Urbanowicz.

MALF Hosted Insightful Summer Workshops Throughout Minnesota

The MALF seasonal workshop, Drafting the Blueprint, brought library supporters together in five different locations throughout Minnesota over the summer.  More than 100 Friends, trustees, and staff joined in professionally-facilitated conversations about how best to promote and support the libraries in their communities and around the state. Underlying the discussions were the national research findings on public perceptions of libraries as outlined early in the sessions by the presenters.

There was excitement and enthusiasm as presenters Brenda Hough and Diana Weaver encouraged participants to establish advocacy goals for their community that are “specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART)” and to think “outside the box” in devising action plans to meet those goals.  Attendees were also encouraged to compose a “parking lot speech” summarizing the library’s benefits to the community and to develop partnerships with other community organizations.

Those in attendance saw many side values to the workshops. Most importantly:

*Their informal nature encouraged attendees to become acquainted with each other and to network together. 

*The discussions of specific issues showed the value of holding meetings regularly on a regional basis and identified common concerns among Friends groups such as increasing membership and recruiting younger members.


Photo captions: Session leaders Brenda Hough and Diana Weaver (above); Library Friends deep in discussion at the Perham, Minn., Drafting the Blueprint workshop (below).