Archive for March, 2007

A Correction…Already!

In my last post, I noted that I was the only challenger because the most recent edition of our weekly newspaper only listed the two incumbents with me as the sole challenger. Apparently, the paper left out the name of the other challenger who had been listed in previous editions. I know this because the notification of “order of listing on the ballot” just came out and sure enough, there are four names listed. So, my apologies for not mentioning the other “challenger” in my last blog. I was only going by what my paper said…which just goes to show you that we STILL (perhaps even more) need librarians for information. We know the best intentioned newspapers make mistakes, but a librarian would hunt out information like a hungry bloodhound but wouldn’t pounce on it without verifying the primary source or evaluating its credibility.

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Why are you Challenging These Wonderful Women?

A local merchant posed that question this evening regarding my candidacy for the Salado Library District Board. It’s a fair question. There are two positions and the two incumbents have opted to run for re-election. So naturally, everyone expects that my bid is a reflex against the status quo. If I didn’t run, then the two incumbents would be handily ushered back into office without scuttlebutt. And all would remain the same.

But I’m a bit bothered by the implication that I can’t run for something without the assumption that I’m against something. Why isn’t it enough that I care about my community, I want to give back and I happen to have a list of qualifications for library board as long as your arm?

Here’s how I look at it: Elected offices are jobs that require you to reapply every 2, 4, or 6 years. They aren’t tenured positions and it’s possible you could be voted out NOT because you did such a horrible job, but because there is a time when different talents and perspectives are required. I teach a course on the changing role of libraries for a graduate library and information sciences program so I understand that organizations and circumstances require different skills and talents at different times.

I experienced this firsthand when I directed the Reading Program, the adult literacy service of the Santa Clara County Library. My predecessor built a solid foundation which enabled me to grow the organization and incorporate innovative programming that attracted the attention of funders, like the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund who approached us to be one of only thirteen libraries selected for a multi-year learning initiative. Just as my predecessor was the right person for the job, I was the right person to succeed her. As one funder once said to me, “I had a crazy idea that I thought no one in their right mind would try. But then I thought of you.” During my ten year tenure, our program went from $300,000 per year and ten staff to $1.2 million per year and 25 staff, and we developed products, like the Easy Voter Guide (still in publication with a statewide distribution of almost 5 million) and services like computer-aided literacy.

I have been involved with libraries in a variety of roles for seventeen years. I’ve also taught literacy program management and grant-writing in two university graduate library and information sciences programs. I have consulted with libraries around the country and even in Russia. I’m active with American Library Association, Public Library Association, Texas State Library Association and ALISE, the association of library educators.

So, I’m not running against. I’m just asking the voters for an opportunity to use my skills and talents to support and grow our library and its services to the community.

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The Campaign Begins

This is the first time in four years that there will be an election for the library board of trustees. During the last election, only the two incumbents ran for the two available positions so there was no election. As the only non-incumbent in this race, I need to let people know:

  • my platform,
  • my qualifications,
  • my vision,
  • my NAME!

That’s how I’ll use this space over the next couple of months. I’ll also be meeting and greeting and distributing my cards around town. They aren’t anything fancy, but they are a start. The back has a few of my qualifications. The Curriculum Vitae on this site has more information than you could ever want, but it is a necessary document in academia!



If you’d like to help distribute cards, let me know!

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Important Dates and Events
In Salado Village 2007 Elections

[NOTE: The following information was printed in the Salado Village Voice, Vol. XXIX, Number 45, March 22, 2007.]

April 12: Candidates Forum, Salado Civic Center 7:00 p.m.

I will have 5-7 minutes to state my platform and will accept questions from the participants.

April 19, April 26, May 3, and May 10: Salado Village Voice Publication of candidate responses

Each election, the Salado Village Voice publishes the candidates responses to questions. Readers may submit possible questions to news@saladovillagevoice.com.

April 12: Last date to register to vote

You may pick up a registration application at any Bell County full service locations, area libraries (map to: Salado Public Library), Department of Public Safety and Texas Department of Human Services offices. You may also request a voter application by e-mail. Here are instructions for completing the voter registration form.

April 30: Early voting begins at the Salado Civic Center

Early voting will be open weekdays 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. except extended days.
LAST DAY TO VOTE BY MAIL. Applications to vote-by-mail can be sent to Salado, ISD, Attn: Lyydal Cabaniss, PO Box 98, Salado TX 76571. For more information, call 254.947.5479.

May 1 and May 8: Extended days for early voting

Early voting will be open at the Salado Civic Center from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

May 12: ELECTION!!!

Vote at the Salado Civic Center

Send applications to:
Salado ISD
Attn: Lyndal Cabaniss
PO Box 98
Salado, TX 76571


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Campaign Advice From a Friend
(You get what you pay!)

Well, my friends have been giving me advice on my campaign for Salado Public Library Board. Michael Briand, founder of PublicKnowledge in Colorado weighed in with this advice:

“Love the campaign announcement. But you know, it’s OK to sell beer with good-looking girls (actually, it’s not, but I have to continue this line of thinking now that I’ve started it), but running for public office using a girl showing a bare midriff?! Shocking!

Of course, I can tell from your announcement that you realize being qualified for office is completely irrelevant. You understand the marketing of a candidate—showing bare midriffs, allowing chocolate ice cream in the library (promise ‘em anything, they’ll soon forget), and so forth. Can you trace your family’s roots back several generations to when your great-great-great-grand-daddy Salado founded the eponymous town where you live? If not, make it up! Who’s gonna check it out?”

Well Michael, I could try that “family founder of Salado” bit, but I’d get caught for sure. Turns out (how’s this for irony) that this small village’s first white settler was an Archibald Willingham.

He’s buried in The Willingham Cemetery, also known as Three Chimneys Cemetery near the Willingham Branch of the Salado Creek.

So I could follow Michael’s advice and claim my legacy, except that Archibald’s REAL descendent is the town dentist and we’ve yet to find a connection. I’d hate to get caught in a lie in my first campaign.

But my own well-documented family connections aren’t half bad. My parents were Salado Citizens of the Year this year. That’s pretty good stock!

Ben and June Willingham
2007 Salado Citizens of the Year

Thanks, Michael. I won’t rely on my family connections to get me elected, but I’m pretty proud of them nonetheless!

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Apparently, I’m not the first person to associate food with libraries. I just received a notice about the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s participation in the international edible book festival. Edible Book Festival?

Well, of course I had to know more!

England : Thames – 2002
Heather Hunter and friends

Here’s what I learned from my research:

The International Edible Book Festival is a creation of Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron. Judith got the idea over a Thanksgiving turkey with book artists in 1999, and Béatrice created Books2Eat website where despite the distances everyvody can enjoy worldwide’s creations. They contacted friends and colleagues; their first event happened in 2000. Since then the festival continues as an annual sensation.

This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences.

Libraries and other organizations around the world are using this event to connect with their communities in very creative ways. Some are even using the event as a fundraiser! Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  • The Mad Hatters Tea Party
  • An edible books competition in Hong Kong with the proceeds supporting a local charity
  • A competition/fundraiser for a literacy program at a local bookstore
  • An elementary school that is creating edible books to promote literacy
  • Partnerships with local art galleries
  • A potluck of food that reminds you of a favorite book or story
  • A “Cook the Books!” event where the contact person is: Biblio Biscuit

So maybe food as a platform in my bid for the Salado Library Board isn’t such a bad idea.

“a book on every nightstand, a fudgecicle in every fridge” (?)

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