Community-Led Service Planning Model

May 31, 2011 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

How can we make public libraries the socially inclusive institutions we want them to be? The community-led service planning model provides libraries with a sustainable approach to working with underserved communities. This approach, working with individuals who tend to be nonusers and socially excluded community members, increases the relevance and quality of library services.

The four-year, four-city Working Together Project sent community development librarians into diverse neighborhoods across the country. Supported through funding agreements with Human Resources and Social Development Canada, the Vancouver, Regina, Toronto, and Halifax Public Libraries (HPL), worked in diverse urban neighborhoods and with diverse communities — communities we traditionally consider socially excluded. Such communities included people who are new to Canada, such as immigrants and refugees; people of aboriginal descent; people living in poverty; people recovering from or living with mental illness; people recently released from federal institutions; young people at risk; and many more….
The librarians took a community practitioner–based approach. This approach moved community-based librarians’ work beyond discussions among library staff on how best to meet community needs to discussions based upon the lived experiences of socially excluded community members and the librarians who engage with them as equal members of the community.


Entry filed under: social exclusion.

Public Libraries:Platforms for the Community Future of Literacy in Libraries: Our Challenges, Our Opportunities

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May 2011
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