Libraries…We Have a Problem

It’s no secret that libraries around the country are facing devastating cuts. My own library had to give back $2 million with only weeks left in the fiscal year and at the same time County leaders advised us that we would face a 50% budget cut in July. At that time the Library laid off 120 of our staff–my colleagues and friends.

I’ve been pretty quiet online for the past few months about my personal experiences and feelings in all of this. Instead I’ve channeled my energy into a new website in hopes that advocacy efforts can be shared and aggregated. The site has taken off and has almost become a second full-time job. While maintaining the site keeps me busy and keeps me from thinking too much about my own personal situation, every email, every post, every tweet reminds me that this fight for libraries is far from over.

So it was bittersweet when the local news called me to give an interview about the site. This isn’t the kind of publicity anyone wants to have. Though I am happy to talk about my work and the site, I would much rather focus on the value of libraries. If stories like this can help get the conversation started then the site and my efforts will have succeeded, but we also need to ask ourselves why we need to have this conversation in the first place. The fact that we need to tell people why libraries are valuable is a problem, a big one! It should be obvious in the work we do and the services we offer.

Please note that the site is WBTV got the link wrong in several of the visuals.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. Alison D. says:

    How embarrassing for them! I can’t believe someone didn’t check the facts before they let that go on air. Sorry they got it wrong – but I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing!

    • My professors have gotten a kick out of that. In my journalism and PR classes if you make a fact error you receive a 0 for the assignment.

  2. Way to go Lori. I’ve been thinking of you! So proud of what you’re doing.

    • Thanks Stephanie! I’ve been meaning to respond to your email and appreciate the thoughts. I’m doing well despite the craziness in my life. 🙂

  3. Robin B says:

    Wonderful job Lori, even if they got the URL wrong. You are doing fabulous work. As you said “The fact that we need to tell people why libraries are valuable is a problem, a big one! It should be obvious in the work we do and the services we offer.” That part of the story is still not being completely told in the media, the specific examples of how we affect people’s lives daily. But efforts like yours are certainly helping!

    • Thanks Robin. I was disappointed that they focused this on me so much. That wasn’t the story I was trying to tell. But now has a bigger audience. Next stop Oprah!

  4. Great job Lori, as always!


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