Library Programming, Funding, & Archives | Pro Media Reviews

Alessio, Amy & others. 50+ Fandom Programs: Planning Festivals and Events for Tweens, Teens, and Adults. ALA Editions. May 2017. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 9780838915523. pap. $49. PRO MEDIA
Library program planners who connect with avid fans have a ready-made audience for events. Alessio (Club Programs for Teens), Katie LaMantia (Schaumburg Twp. Dist. Lib., IL), and Emily Vinci (Schaumburg Twp. Dist. Lib., IL), coauthors of A Year of Programs for Millennials and More, provide a basic guide for drawing tween, teen, and adult fans into the library. The book covers an assortment of interests, such as sports, gaming, steampunk, anime, and history, as well as beloved book, toy, movie, and television franchises. Demonstrating their programming experience, Alessio, LaMantia, and Vinci provide detailed instructions on shopping lists, preparation time, crafts and games, program length, recommended number of attendees, and more. Many of the suggestions are suitable for patrons of various ages—perfect for those engaged in multigenerational programming. Readers will also come away with marketing ideas, including partnerships with appropriate businesses, along with hints for keeping staff informed and engaged. VERDICT Library staff involved in programming will appreciate this resource for its no-fail directions and wealth of material.

—Lydia Olszak, Bosler Memorial Lib., Carlisle, PA

Sweeney, Patrick “PC” & John Chrastka. Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding. ALA Editions. Jun. 2017. 304p. index. ISBN 9780838915561. pap. $57. PRO MEDIA

Sweeney, political director of EveryLibrary, a Super PAC for libraries that raises money to influence policy, and Chrastka, founder of EveryLibrary, have compiled a guidebook of strategies for marshalling support for library funding initiatives. The authors include techniques similar to those employed by the League of Women Voters and community organizer Saul Alinsky. There are detailed plans on training, deploying, and empowering campaign volunteers. This book also explains how to collect data about voters and use donor and fundraiser databases. Though the authors offer examples, this isn’t a collection of case studies. Most libraries have only one chance to pass a referendum—Sweeney and Chrastka emphasize that personal contact with voters wins elections. A chapter on “the art of the schmooze” is valuable for introverts as well as more practiced glad-handers; it addresses handshakes, body language, and how to deliver a pitch. VERDICT Hard-to-find information pulled together in a readable, practical volume that is sure to become a go-to source at many libraries. Highly recommended for librarians and community leaders who need to build a “vote yes” committee and win an election for library funding.

—Susan Belsky, Oshkosh P.L., WI

Thomas, David & others. The Silence of the Archive. ALA Editions. Aug. 2017. 187p. index. ISBN 9780838916407. pap. $82. PRO MEDIA

What archivist hasn’t fielded a request for records not held by their repository? Variations in record keeping through time and by country can undermine researchers’ hopes. Thomas (iSchool, Univ. of Northumbria; coauthor, Shakespeare in the Public Records), Simon Fowler (associate teaching fellow, Univ. of Dundee; coauthor, Army Records for Family Historians), and Valerie Johnson (interim director, Research and Collections, National Archives) present a comprehensive treatment of the whys behind archival gaps, addressing the “silences” caused by record creation, destruction, and retention and the impact of technology on the preservation of records. The authors emphasize that archivists are imperfect gatekeepers of documentation for the public memory, whose decisions about what constitutes historic significance, sometimes influenced by unconscious biases, determine the availability of records. Limited resources and the sheer volume of digital records pose challenges for chronically understaffed and underfunded archives. Engaging with Records and Archives, edited by Fiorella Foscarini and others, offers case studies of similar issues, while The Craft of Knowledge, edited by Carol Smart and others, approaches the topic from the researcher’s perspective. VERDICT For current and future archivists.

—Betty J. Glass, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno

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