Executive Director's Blog: Back to the Future

Like many of you, I participated in the NCLA conference last week.  As a first-timer, whatever expectations I brought with me stemmed from recollections of other state conferences I have attended.  At those other state conferences I remember small crowds, grim venues, lackluster, scanty-attended sessions, cliques of old friends roaming in exclusive “packs,” and a general sense that the state conference was a prelude to some other, bigger event, for which the attendees were saving their best.  In short, these weren’t my favorite conferences.

NCLA could not have been more different.  First, the venue:  The Koury Convention Center in Greensboro was elegant, convenient and well appointed.  Second, the planning and organization:  Rodney Lippard and the rest of the NCLA Planning Committee did an extraordinary job putting together an event that was fun, thought provoking, collegial and easy to navigate.  Planning an event like this can often feel like a Sisyphean, thankless job.  Kudos to the Planning Committee for a great success.  Finally, the attendees:  While it was clear that many attendees were excited to meet up with old friends and former colleagues, never did the existing relationships preclude new relationships from forming.  Attendees were welcoming and inclusive, helping us first timers feel comfortable, and they went out of their way to introduce us newbies to longtime NCLA attendees.  NCLA is yet another example of why North Carolina libraries should be proud of their community.

I want to thank the many, many individuals I met who expressed their gratitude for and support of NC LIVE.  The reception I received and the people I met were gracious, lively and inspiring.  We are an organization driven by our members for our members and we could not succeed without your continued support.  Thank you!

NC LIVE was a platinum sponsor of NCLA 2015 and participated in several presentations, as well as hosted a Homegrown author reading and book signing.    

In our session “NC LIVE: Past, Present and Future,” I introduced the audience to a brand new organization.  This new organization’s...

  • mission is to help member libraries better support education, enhance economic development, and improve the quality of life of all North Carolinians.
  • values include shared success through collaboration and cooperation.
  • sole purpose is to support North Carolina libraries.
  • status is not-for-profit, and it is staffed by a dedicated, passionate team of librarians right here in North Carolina.
  • future is whatever NC Libraries decide it will be.

Sound familiar?  By now you know I’m talking about NC LIVE, but I hope the temporary sleight-of-hand was useful in getting you to imagine what the future of an organization with as broad a mission as NC LIVE can be, independent of its past.  We used a 1-minute survey to collect the audience’s input and will leave the survey open to anyone in the NC LIVE community through November 20th.  I encourage you to take a minute to vote.

For 17 years NC LIVE has been synonymous with providing e-resources to its member libraries at a significantly reduced rate.  This history is something everyone involved with NC LIVE is proud of, but it can hinder us when considering what our future could be.  Only by forgetting for a moment what NC LIVE has been up to this point and thinking broadly about what NC LIVE could be going forward can we ensure that NC LIVE remains focused on the most pressing needs of our member libraries.

If you have not yet signed up to receive email notifications of my monthly blog posts, please sign-up to be notified when a new post is published.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me at rob [at] nclive.org (rob[at]nclive[dot]org), LinkIn with me, or, if you see me at an event, please introduce yourself.