October 22, 2021

Founding Members Sought for Public Library Data Alliance, New National Coordinating Group

From the Measures that Matter/Chief Officers Of State Library Agencies (COSLA):

 Recruitment is now open for interested librarians and others to serve on the initial iteration of the Public Library Data Alliance, an alliance of library stakeholders conceived to provide thought leadership and strategic vision regarding the collection of data related to public libraries nationwide. The Alliance is seeking applications from librarians, library data analysts, researchers, state data coordinators and others interested in public library data collection and use. Once formed, the Alliance will continue the work of the Measures that Matter initiative which is focused on aligning public library data gathering with the needs of the wide range of communities public libraries serve.

The Alliance represents a new way of working on a complex topic.  Its vision includes promoting coordination, commitment, resources and momentum.  It will not duplicate the efforts of existing organizations, such as those at the Institute for Museum and Library Science or the Public Library Association. Nor is it a data collecting organization; instead, it will serve a coordinating function, proposing strategic action and creating a communications infrastructure for the field.

The Alliance seeks members who represent the breadth of public libraries, including urban and rural, large and small. It also seeks applications from library administrators, data analysts, state data coordinators, researchers, library funding organizations, and civic leaders, educators, and others not directly working in the library field but who hold interest in public library data, especially the power of it when combined with other data sources. Initially, members will have staggered terms of one to three years before moving to three-years terms for all members. This will ensure that the members maintain critical history and avoid wholesale membership turnover.

“Diverse talents are important for the initial formation of the Alliance,” notes Timothy Cherubini, Executive Director of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and coordinator of the Measures that Matter initiative.   “This will set the stage for broad thinking around the needs, challenges, and ideas of those who collect and use public library data routinely. We also are interested in applicants who may not work in libraries but have a passion for public libraries and expertise that would help us reach our goals.”

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Anyone who is interested in serving on the Alliance should complete an online application. The deadline for applicants is April 10th. Applications will be reviewed during April, with an announcement of the Alliance’s makeup and its initial meeting to come in early May.

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The Public Library Data Alliance is endorsed by five national library organizations: The American Library Association, the Public Library Association, both based in Chicago; the Association for Rural and Small Libraries of Whitehall, Mi.; the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies of Lexington, Ky.; and the Urban Libraries Council of Washington, D.C. The Institute of Museum and Library Services will maintain a liaison role with the Alliance, and the National Information Standards Organization will serve as the Alliance’s Secretariat for its first year.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Measures That Matter/Public Library Data Alliance Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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