Library Blog

28th Annual Membership Libraries Group Meeting

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A few weeks ago, I attended the 28th meeting (and my 3rd meeting) of the American Membership Libraries Group, at the Charleston Library Society (founded 1748). 

Twelve of us attended this year, and I’m delighted to report that our fellow membership libraries around the country are thriving. Memberships are increasing (as they are now here at the NYSL after many years of steady decline); innovative programs are bringing in audiences previously unfamiliar with our libraries; and in an auspicious and exciting development, we welcomed a new member to the group. Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum was founded just two years ago and is located in the city’s vibrant Pike Place Market.

But we’re not without challenges, so in addition to sharing our triumphs, we spend a great deal of time discussing plans and strategies on a variety of topics. Not surprisingly, when asked to share our biggest challenge in our roundtable discussion, our answers generally fell into a few categories: succession planning, space planning, raising funds, increasing diversity, and increasing library use (particularly circulations.)

Outside of our two full-day meetings, we had an opportunity to tour the Charleston Library Society and see a bit of historic Charleston as well. Photographs do not do the Library or the city justice. I encourage you all to make a visit yourself!

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