Reflection #4 – Anythink Groupie

Going through the course materials and listening to the Stacie Ledden interview over the past couple weeks has been really transformative. 

Before the interview, I was exploring their policies, strategic vision, and events to get a good feel of their mission and how they were working within their community. While I was exploring the website I found this page called Investing in Anythink’s Future….this is where I dove into the Anythink rabbit hole. 

We have talked in previous modules about the importance of transparency. The Anythink community is getting ready, as we speak, to vote on a ballot measure to increase funding for the Anythink libraries. The library put together this page that clearly outlines the ballot proposal, tax implications, the district needs and challenges, and their vision for the future. But they take it a step further and talk about how the library is funded, they provide historical context, projected growth, and comparable funding from surrounding communities. 

BUT THEY KEEP GOING. 

They expand on their current efficiencies, detail how they want to spend the money and where it will be invested. The amount of context, information, and transparency here is beyond anything I have seen for almost any government project in my own community. In the interview with Stacie, she mentioned that Colorado has a big libertarian population who requires extreme transparency. She stressed that you have to make your case and explicitly state where the money is going and how it will be spent so they can make an informed decision. I definitely think this model would be beneficial in my own community. 

While I was exploring this page, I stumbled upon a document call Catalyst for Innovation: The Anythink Visioning Sessions This was one of the most inspiring library visions I have read in a while. Flipping through the pages, I could truly get a sense of the community involvement to help design a 21st century library. Moving forward with this vision would be a library build for the people. This is definitely a model for listening to the community the library is serving. 

The more I learn about Anythink, the more I really love their transformative mission and approach to community centered librarianship. If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend watching the Stacie Ledden interview.