ULU Supports Miami Dade County’s Coalition to Save our Libraries

Urban Librarians Unite stands with the Miami Coalition to Save Our Libraries. The current funding proposal for Miami Libraries is wholly inadequate to fund and staff a library for a major city American urban center. Miami is one of the great cities of the world, its residents deserve a world class library system.

The plan presented by Mayor Gimenez to the Blue Ribbon Task Force and the County Commission is wholly inadequate to funding a 21st century metropolitan library system. These are politically expeditious plans which do not serve the needs or interests of the people of Miami

There are two proposals on the table. The lower proposal of 30 million is absurd, and even the higher proposal of 50 million would result in unacceptable service cuts including:

reduction of service hours at 18 locations to 4 hours x 4 days a week
cancellation of interlibrary loan service
reduction of public service staff

We stand by the Coalition to Save Our Libraries. Sixty four million dollars is the only responsible funding level on the table. This funding would provide stable funding for the libraries and allow them to function in a stable manner. It would support and sustain current service levels (what hours the libraries are open, how many branch libraries are open, and what services those libraries can provide).

Librarians have always been innovators and given adequate staffing Miami’s libraries will be able to provide new and necessary support and service to one of the great cities of America.

We are proud to stand alongside our friends and colleagues at EveryLibrary, the national library PAC. Together we see Miami library as a place of potential, a place that could serve all the people of Miami. We know what libraries can do for communities and we call for adequate funding for Miami Libraries to achieve the potential of a modern urban public library.

Urban Librarians Unite

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ULU Needs You!


Urban Librarians Unite is calling for volunteers! We have lots of programs in play right now and lots of chances for people to step up and step out for libraries. Instead of doing a big bulk “we need help” call we have some specific projects that we would like to have people sign up for. Let us know what you would like to work on and we will get you going on it.

Volunteer Library Brigade
VLB coordinator(s) – for those of you who have trained for the VLB we are looking for 1-2 project leaders to schedule locations and events. We will get you leads and lists but we are looking for a project leader for the summer active season
VLB Members - if you have NOT trained as a member of the VLB but are interested in doing some street librarianship we will be doing 2-3 trainings in the course of the summer, let us know you are interested and we will get you trained.

5th Annual 24 Hour Read In
Aide de Camp – Christian needs a “go to” assistant to help coordinate this entire event. This person is NOT a secretary but will be a collaborator on the event (as well as taking some of the yeoman’s work). This is the fifth year for the Read In and we are looking for a big event
Ground Troops – we need people to help us prep for the event, do outreach, and be on hand to make sure the Read In goes smoothly on the day, this is a really fun event and we need all the hands we can get on it

Mini Libraries
Road Team – We are in the process of placing the Mini Libraries out in the community again, mainly in Western Brooklyn and Queens. We are looking for volunteers, preferably with transportation, who can make a monthly circuit of the boxes and make sure they are filled and in good shape

Treasurer – We need a dedicated person who can work at the Board level and act as treasurer. There will be an application process for this position.

Sign up now!


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Thank You!

SXSW Badge
Thank you so much to everyone who has been so wonderful in supporting our presentation at SXSW. We are incredibly excited about this event, excited, nervous, a wee bit overwhelmed, but mostly excited.

We are already getting some good press and even wrote a shiny new manifesto for the occasion. We are going to not only be presenting but also will be taking the VLB out into the street and doing adult storytime. It is gonna be great!

Our fundraising campaign is almost halfway there. We are so grateful for the kindness that people have shown. If you have not donated we appreciate any support we can get. If you have donated thank you, thank you, thank you, please spread the word a little. This is a HUGE tech conference, any help we can get is deeply appreciated.

Send the VLB to SXSW


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A Librarian’s Manifesto to SXSW Interactive

Hello from the quiet profession. Hello to all you beautiful dreamers, you benders of time and space, you visionaries of the bright technological future. We love your leaps forward, we love the things you have made possible and we love you for the barriers you will lift away in the days to come.


We welcome you to our journey, the great shift of information and entertainment to people, every people, all the people, everywhere, for free. You create games, design communications interfaces, make work go faster and smarter. You find ways to parse data for the next generation. You make information and entertainment accessible for people.

Librarians have been doing these same tasks for years. We give people knowledge, entertainment, skills, inspiration. We are both outlet and portal. We are the human interface on the great sum total of (wo)mankind’s knowledge and sometimes we can offer that little bit of knowledge that will save your fucking life. If not your life than that of someone you know or someone they know or somebody NOBODY knows but they still found their way through our doors.

While our image may often be dusty and bespectacled there is an innate trust in our brand. If a librarian told it to you then it is probably true. That trust can extend to your idea if you convince us that it works. Everyone can access us and most everyone trusts us. It is an amazing network to use to get the word out, your word, any word whatever word that may be.

Libraries have always been tech friendly. We created MARC and OPAC and we did it fifty years ago. In the new paradigm libraries are increasingly active in knowledge acquisition using direct training and resources to grow job readiness, small business growth, and personal development. We don’t just sit there and wait for people to come and pull down the knowledge to their best abilities. No in the modern library we take an active part in training and the intellectual development of our users.

Find a librarian at SXSW Interactive, there are going to be a lot us there. Your perceptions and expectations of the profession will be challenged. There is a good chance that the librarian you meet will be cooler than you. Think about how you are going to deal with that. Open your perceptions, show us your library card and impress us with just how wonderfully beautifully fantastically brilliant you are. Then let’s use that to MAKE something and to impact our communities for the better.infomedic



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Difficult Decisions & Necessary Testimony

Urban Librarians Unite supports the decision to sell limited library properties to address the Capital Budget shortfall. We see this as a difficult decision and a last ditch remedy to a problem that has been decades in the making. This problem has gotten so bad that real solutions must be found. While there is still much discussion to be had about the particulars of each location these plans ultimately offer an immediate practical solution which will afford the best result for the most library users.

While we wish that this was not happening we see it as a painful but necessary choice.

Download (PDF, 91KB)

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