Board and co-founders will guide educational mission to explore, document, and promote the essential role libraries play in our communities
BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / October 22, 2020 / Library Land Project, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received its 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS and formed a board of directors. These two developments will help further Library Land's mission to explore, document, and promote public libraries in order to educate people about the essential role these institutions play in our communities.
The Library Land Project Board of Directors is a diverse and experienced group. Joining co-founders Greg Peverill-Conti and Adam Zand are Monique Byrne, Eric Davies, Sandy Ho, and Debra Spratt. Each member brings a true love of libraries and a strong desire to support libraries as critical civic institutions.
The Library Land Project started when Zand and Peverill-Conti met at the Newton Free Library, in Newton, Massachusetts, to plan their PR agency, SharpOrange. Though they didn't realize it at the time, that visit would be the first of several hundred (and counting!), and would ultimately lead to the formation of the Library Land Project on Library Legislative Day, March 2019.
'Library Land is one of the happiest accidents of my life,' said Peverill-Conti, executive director and co-founder, Library Land Project. 'We didn't set out with this idea in mind, but as we saw and learned more, it became an irresistible one. We came to appreciate what incredible opportunity engines libraries are in our communities. Sadly, many people have wildly outdated perceptions of these institutions. We want to update and expand the way people think of public libraries. Formalizing as a nonprofit - and with the support of our awesome board - will allow us to do just that.'
'We love libraries. Since late 2017, the Library Land Project has visited almost 300 libraries across Massachusetts - a strong start to our goal of visiting every library in the state - and traveled around the country to visit, learn and document,' said Zand, president and co-founder, Library Land Project. 'The common thread is the energy and innovation we see in these public ‘palaces' of knowledge, service, and inspiration. We are committed to playing an expanded role in broadening the public perception of libraries, and supporting their critical position in our communities.'
Now, more than ever, libraries have an important role to play in strengthening and supporting communities across the nation. From the COVID-19 crisis, with its health and economic consequences, to the long-overdue calls for racial justice, to helping address inequalities of every kind, libraries are uniquely positioned to help heal the rifts that currently divide our society.
'The vision Greg and Adam have for the Library Land Project is spot-on for the challenging times in which we find ourselves,' said Davies, chair of the board, Library Land Project. 'From combating disinformation by championing facts and science, to serving as a glue that can bond together diverse communities, libraries are more important than ever to the survival of our democracy and our society. I am delighted that Greg and Adam have given me this opportunity to help Library Land accomplish its ambitious mission.'
As essential as libraries are, however, they are also under pressure, and Library Land Project hopes its efforts will result in greater support for public libraries. 'As a library director, I see how important we are to our patrons,' explained Spratt, the director of the Lawrence Library in Pepperell. 'Even during difficult times, I know we have our community's support. To have an opportunity to help promote the work of libraries, and serve as a conduit to library directors and associations, is something I'm very excited about.'
The relationships libraries have with their communities are important and complex. Providing equal access to all is fundamental to their missions. 'I'm a community organizer, activist, academic, and library lover,' said Sandy Ho, the founder of the Disability & Intersectionality Summit and a research associate with the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at the Heller School of Management at Brandeis University. 'I'm also Asian-American, queer, and disabled. Growing up, libraries were one of the few places that were accessible to me. It's something I deeply value.'
As a new nonprofit, Library Land Project is hoping to avoid potential pitfalls and growing pains. Monique Byrne brings community, legal, and library experience to the organization. 'While I might not have been to quite as many libraries as Adam and Greg, I've visited more than most people while playing music with my husband as Crowes Pasture,' said Byrne. 'That experience has given me a wonderful and unexpected relationship with libraries, patrons, and staffers. It turns out I was enjoying my travels through Library Land without even realizing it.'
This team will help Library Land Project as it seeks to scale, expand, and fulfill its educational mission:
- Explore - Library Land Project will visit, evaluate, and meet with library directors, workers, and patrons on an ongoing basis.
- Document - Library Land Project will collect these experiences, conversations, research, library lore, and more in reports, photographs, articles, and other media.
- Promote - Library Land Project will share what it learns to educate the public through its website, social media channels (Instagram, Facebook), media relations, partnerships, and public appearances.
Library Land Project also offers a range of services intended to help public libraries engage more successfully with their patrons and communities. These include consulting, strategic planning, custom content development, original research, grant writing, and speaking. Details on these services can be found at LibraryLandProject.org/Services.
Now that it is an IRS and Massachusetts-recognized nonprofit, Library Land Project will also be starting fundraising efforts to expand its work. Those interested in supporting the Library Land Project can do so through PayPal, Smile.Amazon, GuideStar, Facebook, and the Library Land Project website.
About Library Land Project
Library Land Project's mission is to explore, document, and promote public libraries in order to educate people about the essential role these institutions play in our communities. Our research agenda, programming activities, and services - which include consulting, strategic planning, speaking, communications, custom content development, and fundraising - are designed to benefit libraries and the public. Our goal is to reframe how people see and understand libraries in the 21st century. We invite everyone to join our quest to see, share, and celebrate all that is extraordinary in Library Land.
SOURCE: Library Land Project
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