This year, WebJunction celebrated a decade of serving communities. Built with grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and launched in May 2003, WebJunction has continually evolved to provide public libraries—especially small and rural libraries—with resources and skills to empower librarians to transform lives and strengthen communities.
More than 80,000 library staff from across the United States and beyond—including 8,740 new users in 2012—have used WebJunction's training content, live programs, articles and stories to acquire the knowledge, tools and support needed to power libraries. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. public libraries have accessed its programs and resources. Community members celebrated WebJunction’s first decade by submitting comments, videos and photos. Here are a few of our favorites.
“WebJunction inspires me because it gives me the power to do what I want to do—learn what I want to learn, learn at the pace I want to learn, and really take the learning experience and make it me-centered.”
— Eura Szuwalski, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, Washington State
“To me, there has been nothing as impactful to libraries and their service to the public as the emergence of WebJunction for staff training and support to small and rural libraries during this time of rapid technological change. Without it and the Gates Foundation’s library initiative, I shudder to think of the fate of the vast majority of community libraries. In my opinion, the Gates initiative and 10 years of WebJunction have had an impact equal to the Carnegie initiative. ”
— John D. “Danny” Hales, Jr., retired Director of Suwannee River Regional Library, Florida
“It’s not just about all of the courses—it’s about the people behind that screen. All of the interactions I’ve had in either two dimensions or three dimensions have been meaningful. They know libraries and they are in such a great support role for libraries. I know when I turn to a course on WebJunction, or to a WebJunction staff member, inspiration isn’t far behind.”
— Kate Laughlin, Washington Library Association, Washington State
“I started here nearly ten years ago and I sat down at an empty desk and was instructed to create the training department. Not having a background in libraries, but training, I went online and typed in ‘training and libraries’ and WebJunction was the site that came up. I have been a loyal follower ever since then. I was also fortunate enough to be part of the Spanish Language Outreach training initiative. As long as I’m working in this field, I will continue to use your site and all of the wonderful resources you provide. So thank you very much and happy anniversary!”
— Stephanie Zimmerman, Lancaster County Library System, Pennsylvania
The WebJunction team gives thanks to all who have joined in celebration of this milestone. We are honored to continue our work with an ever-growing community of library staff who are building the knowledge, skills and support needed to power relevant, vibrant libraries.
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