SWON Visits – Boone County Public Library
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Posted by: Melanie
Greta Southard (Director of Boone County Public Library) never imagined she’d be here, after starting her career in law libraries. From a start in Ohio, Greta found her way to Chicago, working at ALA Headquarters, heading up the Public Library Association and organizing the annual PLA conference. According to Greta, what’s great about being a library director is that you actually get to implement the forward thinking ideas you put together as part of every conference, every year. You don’t need to convince the folks ‘out there’ to do anything. You simply build it with your people.< p/>
One of Greta’s main challenges is getting people to look objectively at their programming to see how it could be improved, how it could be oriented to more people in the community. This evaluative focus has led to significant restructuring in programming, not by offering that many more programs but by shifting the focus. So in the last year an increase of 4% in programming resulted in a 25% increase in attendance. Many programs are now multi-generational so that the library can be a family destination.
Not to worry, Greta is still involved in putting together conferences. This year it’s the Kentucky Library Association’s “Libraries: Leading the Way in the Information Age.” Greta would certainly know.