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These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation. See "About Me" for contact information.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Waukegan Public Library

My last engagement in the Chicago area was a long range planning workshop with the board and staff of my home town library, the library that inspired me to become a librarian.

Our main exercise was "visioning" -- trying to see what a shared vision might look like for the future. And there was indeed a common vision: a library that was safe, clean, and healthy; a staff that was warm and welcoming. There were a lot of other clever and interesting ideas as well.

I find it encouraging: most of the time, when you sit down with the public to dream about what a library could and should be, they get it, they have great ideas, and they get excited about it.

I also continue to believe that after a couple generations of tearing down our public institutions, it just might be time to put them together again.

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