Himmel and Wilson Report Response June 2007
The Library of Virginia and Virginia’ s public libraries began a serious look at the future with a celebration of their past. At the 100th birthday of what became the Library Development and Networking Division, the intent to hire an independent consultant to thoroughly study the library systems was announced.
The RFP called for a study to address:
- Laws, regulations, and legal authority directing the establishment, governance, funding, management, and administration of Virginia’ s public libraries, and the certification of Virginia’s public librarians,
- Funding, programs, and services (including LSTA) administered by LVA to support Virginia public libraries and their development,
- The direct state aid program including purpose, formula, and uses in conjunction with the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study,
- Issues surrounding standards for Virginia public libraries and certification of public librarians in Virginia,
- Role and responsibilities of local jurisdictions in the establishment, funding, programs, and services of public libraries,
- Methods of fostering collaboration and resource sharing among public libraries and peer organizations,
- Societal, technological, and demographic factors that impact the continuing growth and development of public libraries in Virginia.
In 2005, the Library of Virginia contracted with the national consulting firm of Himmel and Wilson. Having conducted similar studies in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia over 17 years, Himmel and Wilson were well prepared and knowledgeable.
Over the summer Himmel and Wilson visited libraries, conducted surveys and focus groups, and met with local government officials, library board members, staff, and citizens. The report was presented to the Library of Virginia Board and the public library directors on September 19, 2005, and formally accepted by The Library Board on November 14, 2005.