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The Open Door Director

Library Journal, 7/15/2007

One foundational Library 2.0 concept is that the library must make itself sufficiently relevant to the local population so that funding and political support remain and grow stronger. This means libraries must act in concert with other nonprofits that use marketing campaigns, lobbying, and grassroots networks to develop long-term, deeply rooted sustenance across different demographics and political strata.

Transparency plays a role in helping library directors achieve these goals by opening the process to everyone. How many times have libraries held closed-door meetings about budget problems, or tried to hide fiscal shortfalls by moving money around so no one would notice? We often think that keeping such things from the public will save us from being “in the news,” but what it really does is keep the public from knowing just how dire our situation might be. We confuse the short-term advantage of avoiding media coverage with long-term success of stable funding and greater outreach to patrons.

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