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Now Available On-Demand!

You can now view Library Journal’s annual summit: What’s Next? Libraries Adapt to the New Abnormal, on-demand!

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending strategic plans across the country, libraries have had to be nimble, flexible, and collaborative on a scale and time frame like never before. Fortunately, all three of those proficiencies are in the library wheelhouse. 

In this free, virtual on-demand event, LJ convenes leaders at every level to share their learnings from the first phase of the crisis, how they’re preparing for the multiple possibilities of the medium term—and beyond—and positioning themselves to come out of the recovery strong. 


The cosponsor of the Congressional $2 billion Library Stabilization Fund Act to support libraries during and after COVID-19 will address the crucial role of libraries to our nationwide COVID recovery, both social and economic.
Andrew Levin, U.S. Representative for Michigan's 9th congressional district 

Safety First
This session discusses the development and implementation of the Toledo-Lucas County Library’s staff safety–focused plan to reopen during COVID, the origins of the Reopening Libraries, Archives, and Museums (REALM) collaboration between CML, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, OCLC, and the Battelle research organization to determine the lifespan of the virus on library materials, what it has found, and next steps.
Jason Kucsma, Executive Director/Fiscal Officer, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, OH
Pat Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), OH
Will Richter, Principal Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, OH
Moderator: Meredith Schwartz, LJ Editor-in-Chief

Advocating for Library Budgets in Times of Austerity
The economic fallout from the continuing pandemic is putting states, counties, and cities in a tough spot where they must make deep cuts or raise taxes on a population already experiencing hardship. Meanwhile, as in any recession, users need the library more than ever to help with finding new jobs, getting reliable health information to make informed medical decisions, participating in the census, supporting students new to remote learning, and more. The stakes have never been higher for library funding advocates. Chrastka highlights key strategies for making your case when cuts are on the table.
John Chrastka, Founder and Executive Director, EveryLibrary

The Library’s Role in the Community’s Recovery
Crucial as libraries are to surviving the pandemic and all the other challenges of 2020, they don’t have to go it alone. In this session, panelists will address how libraries can and should integrate into the larger strategic planning and implementation of their communities’ strategies to achieve shared goals.
Jill Bourne, City Librarian of San José, CA
Ayub Khan MBE, Head of Universal Services, Warwickshire County Council, UK
Moderator: Lisa Peet, LJ News Editor

Strategies to Narrow the Digital Divide
Many patrons rely on their libraries for broadband access, but during the COVID pandemic, branches are often closed to the public. This panel shares replicable ways that libraries can provide access offsite or after hours, keeping their communities connected.
Betsy Fowler, Director, Williamsburg Regional Library, VA
Mary Hastler, CEO, Harford County Public Library, MD
Moderator: Matt Enis, LJ Senior Technology Editor

Keynote: Hold, Fold, Walk, Run: A Playbook for Leadership in the Time of a Pandemic
Faced with leading the world’s oldest and largest library association through a pandemic, which arrived on U.S. shores one week after she became the American Library Association’s tenth executive director, Hall gets real about the ins and outs of change management, organizational realignment, questioning our sacred cows, honest conversations about race in the LIS profession, and why we should never, ever, let a good crisis go to waste. This candid session examines the challenge of leadership in situations where decision-making is quick and highly visible, even when control is not entirely in your hands.
Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director, American Library Association

Antiracism in Libraries 
In this 45-minute on-demand session, moderated by LJ Associate Editor Stephanie Sendaula, Svetha Hetzler, director of Wisconsin’s Sun Prairie Public Library, will discuss her racial literacy initiative, while Dr. Kawanna Bright of East Carolina University will address antiracism in an academic library setting.

Getting the Word Out
In this 45-minute on-demand session, Deborah Hakes, director of communications and marketing for the Georgia Public Library Service, will share tools, techniques, and tips for effective marketing of library services during COVID-19 building closures.

How to Fact Check the Election (Without Taking Sides)
With election season in full swing, the role of libraries as a source of reliable, vetted information for informed democratic participation is more vital than ever. In this 45-minute on-demand session Gary Price, editor of LJ’s INFOdocket, will share a wealth of resources that librarians can use to help their patrons make sense of the messages they receive on social media and elsewhere.

Libraries Work!
Although employment rates have picked up since the spring, the landscape for job seekers has changed with the pandemic. Libraries are ideally positioned to help adults looking to re-enter the workforce, those who need to add to or polish their skills, and small business owners who have to learn new ways to promote their products. This 45-minute on-demand session, moderated by John Chrastka, founder and executive director of EveryLibrary, will examine a range of programs libraries are using to help patrons find jobs and keep businesses afloat, from help for older job seekers and those with disabilities to multilingual suites of services to mentorships to digital marketing strategies. Panelists include Thomas Fortin, chief of the Main Library, San Francisco Public Library and Rebecca Stavick, executive director of Do Space, Omaha, NE.

Open Up
In this 45-minute on-demand session Dr. Roland Poellinger, head of eservices - library technologies and systems, Munich Public Library, on openness as a core library ethos and organizing principle: open access, open data, open (unstaffed) library hours, and more.

Practical Alternatives to Calling the Police
As societal awareness of bias in policing grows, many libraries seek to reduce their dependence on calling the police to ensure that all patrons feel safe and welcome. In this 45-minute on-demand session, librarians Laurel Johnson of Skokie Public Library, IL and Em Lane of Pima County Public Library, AZ will share their experiences with implementing restorative justice practices, peer navigators, on-site nurses, and more.

Programming at a Distance
In this 45-minute on-demand session, Erica Freudenberger, outreach and marketing consultant for the Southern Adirondack Library System, NY, will highlight the innovative and replicable ways that libraries are reaching their patrons with coronavirus-safe programming that provides education, entertainment, and connection to those otherwise isolated, from outdoor storywalks and scavenger hunts to low tech dial-a-storytimes to interactive virtual escape rooms.

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