Better Together: Libraries in The Sharing Economy

Preconference in conjunction with the 2015 Library State of Mind joint conference in Peoria.

Better Together logo
PDF fileBetter Together Working Paper (PDF, via Illinois Library Association)

The whole idea of libraries is essentially based on resource sharing; initially, a collection was a way to share resources among a group of subscribers or members who paid some kind of fee. Public libraries replaced the private subscription system with a tax-based one, but the idea was still to share resources across a population. The idea of libraries sharing with each other—and with each others' patrons—came later, mostly not until the 20th century. In Illinois, both individuals and organizations have been pioneers in sharing resources. This conference—Better Together—celebrates the history, the personalities, the landmarks and milestones, the results, the challenges to come, and the ways they are being met today and into the future. This publication is a jumping-off point…join us and jump in!

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Illinois library systems. Illinois was a leader and innovator in establishing first public and then multi-type systems, but work remains to be done. The Better Together Preconference is an opportunity to honor our past while actively seeking new directions, strategies, and goals. Exciting speakers from across the country spoke about practical experiences in resource sharing and spoke about the successes and failures of their groundbreaking projects.

During the preconference, an artist from Sunni Brown, Ink captured key ideas in a series of murals. Click each image for an enlargement, or download an extra-large version as a PDF file.

Better Together Mural 1; click for larger version
PDF fileBetter Together Mural #1, Extra Large (PDF, ~ 3.2MB)

Better Together Mural 2; click for larger version
PDF fileBetter Together Mural #2, Extra Large (PDF, ~ 3.7MB)

Better Together Mural 3; click for larger version
PDF fileBetter Together Mural #3, Extra Large (PDF, ~ 3.9MB)

Speakers: Amy Affelt, Compass Lexecon; Deirdre Brennan, RAILS; Anne Craig, Illinois State Library; Kathryn Deiss and Miguel Figueroa, American Library Association; John Helmer, Orbis Cascade Alliance; Todd Lash, Champaign Public Schools; Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library; Vicki Rakowski, La Grange Public Library; Robert Wedgeworth, Former Director, American Library Association, and Former Director, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library

Presented by Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, Chicago Public Library, Illinois Heartland Library System, Illinois State Library, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System.