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Going First: The Edge Pilot Project and Rural Libraries

Webinar video

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Webinar Description

The Edge Initiative is a voluntary assessment program that provides libraries with benchmarks, best practices, tools and resources that support continuous improvement and reinvestment in public technology services. Edge helps libraries connect their services to community priorities.

Edge will be available to public libraries nationwide in January 2014. A group of pilot libraries has been testing the benchmarks in their libraries and communities. Join us as we talk with participants from pilot libraries located in rural communities: Mary Haney and Lee Ann Barnes. What did they do? What did they learn? What are they planning to do next?

This webinar is part of a series of webinars exploring the Edge Initiative Benchmarks. A coalition of leading library and local government organizations are working on Edge, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Urban Libraries Council, American Library Association's OITP, International City/County Management Association, Lyrasis, Public Library Association, State Libraries of California, Oklahoma and Texas, TechSoup Global, Universities of Maryland and Washington, and WebJunction/OCLC.

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Speaker Information

Mary Haney made the transition to libraries, where she found her niche, after a varied and successful career in education, which included teaching in a high school, writing and directing religious repertory plays, and teaching English composition and speech to educationally challenged adults at Oklahoma Junior College.

In 1996, the Hennessey Public Library had fewer than 300 patrons and was housed in the south end of a 1928 high school building. Now, in 2013, there are 2,329 patrons. They now utilize the entire 13,545 square feet of the ground floor of the building and are in the fifth year of a 20-year project to renovate the space. There are only three staff members, but they offer metroplex services in a microplex environment!

Lee Ann Barnes is the director of the Okeene Public Library in Oklahoma. She graduated with a double major in Spanish and English. While teaching, she received a Master's Degree in Library Media and became the high school librarian and Spanish and English teacher for several years. She left the classroom to become the elementary and high school librarian and continued there for more than eight years. Lee Ann “retired” from being a school librarian to become the director/head librarian for the Okeene Public Library in 2004.

Lee Ann says, "Learning new things is an every day occurrence now. Most directors have probably forgotten more than I will ever know about this job. But I love it! My goal is to give back to this community, which is now my home. To give it a place that serves the entire community and improves the quality of life here. In my 'second life' I am married and we have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and three spoiled grandsons."

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