Scholarship Report: Audrey Betcher – Library Journal Directors’ Summit

Event: Library Journal Directors’ Summit

Attendee: Audrey Betcher – Director, Rochester Public Library

How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

As we go through the strategic planning process, we need to be thinking into the future. The need to build social infrastructure is something we have to do thoughtfully and intentionally. Listening to thought leaders discuss the topic from various angles was EXTREMELY helpful!!!

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

Yale Sociology Professor Marissa King talked about the importance of networks for both personal health and well-being as well as community health (including economic). She talked about why two different types of networks are needed to promote a connected and resilient community — convening networks and bridging networks. 40% of adults are chronically lonely. This really got me thinking about the role of libraries to bring people together!

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

Thinking about how to build strong networks made me question our current building program that is going through revisions. Having more gathering spaces for the community to meet will require different kinds of spaces as we plan for growth of the Rochester Public Library. I’ve already discussed this with the administrative team, and we’ve made changes to the document.