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Game Changer: Libraries=Education -- Your Key to Success Pre-Conference
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Game Changer: Libraries=Education -- Your Key to Success 
Sponsor: Public Libraries Division

Date: Monday, April 24
Time: 9:00-4:30 pm
Location: Salon H


Pre-conference description: 
Participate in this lively, interactive session will experience a vision that is ushering in a new era for libraries everywhere. The strategy will make you, your library, and our profession indispensable for centuries to come. As libraries from all U.S. regions implement this approach, they are finding that their inherent value is no longer questioned. They no longer need to constantly explain why they are important. No one looks at them anymore with a puzzled expression, asking, “Tell me again what you do?” Instead, the library systems enjoy heightened respect in their communities and optimal funding. This is because they are now accorded the same enduring worth assigned to other educational institutions. What are these libraries doing differently? Adopting the “Libraries = Education” vision, they are re-positioning their libraries as a key component of the education enterprise, alongside schools, colleges, and universities. 

Valerie J. Gross, MM, MLS, JD, has served as President & CEO of Howard County Library System (HCLS) since 2001. Developing a new vision for libraries, Gross worked with the HCLS Board, staff, funders, elected officials, and the community to implement "Libraries = Education."

Gross has delivered 80+ keynotes, workshops, seminars, and webinars on the strategy, drawing the participation and input of thousands of library professionals from 46 states and more than a dozen countries around the world. Combining these experiences, she authored Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage (ABC-CLIO, 2013).

For living this game-changing vision, HCLS was recognized in 2013 as Library of the Year by Gale and Library Journal. They hailed the “Libraries = Education” equation “a 21st-century model worthy of study and consideration by every library in America, if not the world” (Library Journal, 2013). The growing movement is ushering in a new era for libraries everywhere.

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