To attract users, libraries should give the people what they want.
That was one of the messages from the three-day Maryland Conference on Libraries and Information Services that ended yesterday at the Sheraton Towson Conference Center.
J. Maurice Travillian, assistant state secretary for libraries, said libraries must find ways to let people know that they are a source of information. One of the ways of doing that, he said, is to find out what information the public most often seeks.
Surveys of library users in various counties throughout Maryland have found that people most often seek information related to their health, Travillian said.
Another method to attract users is promotion. "We still don't do a very good job at telling people what we do," said Kitty Hurrey, director of Southern Maryland Regional Libraries in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties. "We're doing better."
About 250 librarians, government officials and others attended the conference. The delegates approved 37 resolutions, several of which will go to Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
The measures to be sent to Schaefer include:
* Improving the standards for school library media programs and providing funding for them.
* Increasing library staff.
* Improving marketing and public relations.
* Revising the state aid formula.
After review by the governor, the resolutions are to be sent to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services next July 9-13.
The state conference was held in preparation for the White House meeting at which all 50 states and U.S. territories will be represented. Twelve delegates were selected at the Towson conference to represent Maryland.
Delegates at the first governor's conference in 1978 passed 97 resolutions that resulted in increased sharing of resources among libraries, long-range planning for library services and better access to libraries for the handicapped.
"In 1978, we talked about electronics," said Travillian. "Then, they weren't real. We've moved so much further along in technology. I think that's the biggest difference."
One of the resolutions that passed calls for equal access to all information.
"We want to make sure Maryland has access to other libraries," Travillian said. "There are incredible amounts of information that should be available to the libraries."