About

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)  awarded Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) a 2009 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant to fund the GPLS “Librarians Build Communities” program, which  provided the scholarships needed to prepare 45 students to be public librarians and provided them with expertise in community building. Courses were offered at Valdosta State University, Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program.

The mission of the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program is to provide a quality publicly supported education for generalists and specialists in the library and information science fields. Its primary focus is to educate librarians for academic, public, and special libraries in Georgia.

“This grant will help GPLS strengthen community support for public libraries in Georgia, address Georgia’s shortage of librarians and provide a model for other states.”

===============

Program Report  4.

7.1.2011-12.31.2011

Submitted ========to GPLS.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Consultant to the Grant.

Valdosta State University/ Georgia Public Library Service

Libraries Build Communities  Scholars.      Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians.

Class Photos from Kick-Off Sessions.

Cohort I.

Cohort II.

Cohort III

The IMLS Strategic Plan, 2012 – 2016: Creating a Nation of Learners envisions a democratic society where communities and individuals thrive with broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage and lifelong learning. The plan identifies the mission of IMLS to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, learning and civic engagement by providing leadership through research, policy development and grant-making.

With this strategic plan, IMLS builds on its solid foundation and targets five strategic goals. The goals focus on achieving positive public outcomes for communities and individuals; supporting the unique role of museums and libraries in preserving and providing access to collections and content; and promoting library, museum, and information service policies that ensure access to information for all Americans.

1. IMLS places the learner at the center and supports engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.

2. IMLS promotes museums and libraries as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality.

3. IMLS supports exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.

4. IMLS advises the President and Congress on plans, policies, and activities to sustain and increase public access to information and ideas.

5. IMLS achieves excellence in public management and performs as a model organization through strategic alignment of IMLSresources and prioritization of programmatic activities, maximizing value for the American public.

http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/StrategicPlan2012-16_Brochure.pdf

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)  awarded the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) a 2009 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant for $680,327. The money funds the GPLS “Librarians Build Communities” program, which  provides scholarships needed to prepare 45 students to be public librarians and provide them with expertise in community building.

This grant helps GPLS strengthen community support for public libraries in Georgia, addresses Georgia’s shortage of librarians and provides a model for other states.”

Librarians Build Community-Valdosta State University, Georgia–2012.

 

Summer 2011 class comments

  • This class has expanded my view of community. Before taking this class my view of community was very limited to those in our immediate circle. Now I know better.
  • This is one of the most fun class. I have taken during my whole master’s degree classes. I have loved every minute even when it was hard to keep. I love all my assignments. I wish I could take it again.
  • Community Building is a great concept that can be used to obtain funding for a library. It offers a great plan to build social capital via civic organizations, social programs or cultural programs. This was a great course that I have enjoyed very much. It was very educational. It is a perfect fit for the Valdosta Program.
  • This course has given me so many ideas on how to connect with the local community. I have been inspired by all of you!
  • I’ve offered the Roseville Public Library my services creating a “Water Rights Information Sheet” and will continue to attend meetings on the issue.
  • The community building concept learned through course readings presented models for committed librarians to initiate a plan for community building. Methods begin by defining what values make up a community followed by assessing what are the community’s issues and challenges. Libraries then document and present reliable data making the public aware the library matters. Built up trust between the library and the community sets the platform for librarians to serve as catalyst for creating civic, cultural and social service partnerships through engagement. Effective and sustained community building requires sincere dedication and action by librarians.
  • Final thoughts on community building prepare me to be an example for promoting innovative outreach in my community. Becoming aware of policy that affects librarianship is my priority. My plan of action is that of a concerned tax-paying citizen seeking information on issues that affect my community and a catalyst for positive engagement as the neighborhood librarian.
  • Though this semester was a short and fast-paced, I have come away with a better understanding of what it truly means to build community. I had never really appreciated the role a library can play in community building until taking this class. Some of the best examples of this came from my assignment two experiences. Whether it is offering programming to head-start facilities or partnering with local historical societies the library builds community. I hope to take the information I have gained from this class and apply it both in the library I currently work and future libraries in which I will one day work.
  • Thanks to this class, I attended my first ever city council meeting and made my way to a neat cultural center that I’d heard of, but never bothered to visit.
  •  Also thanks to this class, I can more clearly see how libraries and the civic, social and cultural entities in a community can work together for everyone’s mutual benefit.  I intend to stand out from other job applicants by pointing out my desire to enable that sort of cooperation if hired. 

Fall 2011 class comments

  • I think the profession is definitely changing. Librarians are busting out of the stereotype and having to be more extroverted and more involved with the community. We have a responsibility to the community to keep up with the changing times (and technologies) and connect with members of the community on their own turf, not expecting to sit back and let the patrons come to us. We can’t afford to be passive.
  • From all the readings and assignments throughout the semester, I think it is plain to see that there is an immense desire, hunger even for a far greater sense of community. It’s something that seems to have been lost over the last few decades and needs to be regained. And librarians can help… but they need to do the work. Simply saying that something needs to be done is not enough. Talking changes nothing, but action can actually lead to results. I think we have all learned throughout the semester that there are a variety of options available to use to help build a greater sense of community in our towns, but the key is to take advantage of these options. McCook (2000) says it best:
  • Librarianship must dedicate time, resources, and commitment at the policy level to guarantee that community building is a high priority for the profession and so that the nation’s community builders include librarians as valued partners in every enterprise. Power dies the moment action ceases. There must be a librarian at every table (p. 110).
  • Librarians must make their voices heard and, in my opinion, actions make the loudest voices.
  • Through this class, I have come to a much stronger realization that building community means going out there and getting it. An “if you build it, they will come” attitude will not suffice in most communities, and that is what we as professionals must realize. More and more, the library as an important and permanent institution is placed further and further on the back-burner and our relevance is being diminished – and I would argue that it is because librarians are not treating their jobs as an outreach opportunity first. It has become necessary to prove to our community that we are just as important as the schools their children attend and the colleges the parents have chosen to return to. Many of our readings incorporated interviews with library professionals who have gone out into their communities and convinced its members to enter the library and see for themselves how valuable and relevant it can be to them. This often resulted in high program attendance and fun learning experiences. This class has taught me that, if the library will exit the building more often, then it is more likely to find for itself a place at the table.
  • Meeting with people where they are is the key to effectively building community. Librarians have to be prepared to transport the mission and benefits of libraries to the public at venues outside of the physical library building. This may mean communicating with patrons via social media outlets or having meaningful conversations with people who are not regular library visitors in order to access their needs and interests. Promoting library services at cultural arts and civic events or to social service agencies is important also. Attending these types of forums will help librarians understand the surrounding community and become knowledgeable about the concerns and issues prevalent in the neighborhood.Libraries will have to be willing to welcome all of the community, when librarians make the effort to reach out and pull the public in. I sometimes feel librarians talk about wanting patrons to come, but it only takes a few loud teenagers, a rambunctious baby, or an indigent person to get them thinking about ways to keep certain people out. If libraries are serious about building community they are going to have to take the time to make accommodations and develop resources for those who may not be considered ideal patrons. Librarians may have to move past their personal comfort levels and engage with those who may have different backgrounds, languages, cultures, political beliefs, traditions, etc…, and allow the library to be the place where all of these people meet and learn from one another as a community.
  • Community building is a way for libraries to reach out to citizens and promote their services and programs. This also helps libraries connect with other key organizations and businesses that are crucial to the community. Libraries increase their effectiveness and are able to truly meet the needs of the community when they know the population and their wants and needs. Key community organizations are more beneficial to the citizens when their needs are understood and much needed services are provided. This course gave me an opportunity to meet with two different professional organizations in the community. These visits helped me develop ideas and visualize how libraries can work with cultural and social service organizations to promote community building. As I am preparing to enter the field of librarianship, it is important to understand the concept of community building in libraries, and develop strategies to effectively achieve this goal. I look forward to taking what I have learned and experienced this course and using it in the field.
  • It is important to communicate with the community to determine their needs. If there are ways to utilize the public library system, then we need to foster these opportunities and promote them to our users. They need to be aware of the library and taught how to access its services.In this rapidly changing environment the library plays a major role connecting every aspect of the community.
    Proactivity is the crucial factor in creating a quality library program that is a fundamental part of the community. Assuming a leadership role enables the library to develop an effective plan and process for providing library services that support the philosophy, goals and objectives of the library.Opportunities for the library to interact with external groups can be done through various outreach efforts in local community committees. Library information service can stored and shared on the library’s website. Surveys can be an interesting method for collecting and sharing information, however they need to have a clear purpose. Often a survey is sent out but the information gathered does not help with determining a solution. Some survey questions may prove to be too broad. For example, ‘What units of study are you planning for this school year?’ is a very broad question that should usually be avoided because the state curriculum will have already predetermined the units of study.We must assume leadership responsibility in program planning, management, and evaluation of library programs such as programming development, budgeting, facilities usage, and promotions. The library frontline staffers, management team, and the learning community needs to work as a team to create an atmosphere that inspires others to identify with and support the goals of the library.
  • This semester was quiet enlightening for me. My visits to our local historical society and head start made me excited about the potential for libraries to really make a difference. The directors of both agencies were very willing to talk about ways a partnership with the library could benefit the community. It is not really “libraries against the world” in these tough economic times. There are many organizations hoping to impact communities in a positive way that would be happy to work with libraries to make a difference. Perhaps libraries just need to make the first move in forming partnerships.Also, effective community building might often require a refocusing of the library mission. Being willing to change traditional library methods and goals is important. As our culture changes, librarians must keep pace by learning new and innovative ways to meet user needs. Library staff members must be persistent, creative, and zealous about library involvement in community building. Librarians who are passionate about their work must see how their role extends beyond the walls of the library and into the community. Community building is not necessarily going to be an easy task, but it is certainly a worthwhile one!
  • I hope the “end of profession” rumours that keep threatening librarianship are false and that our class doesn’t need to be the one to defend our necessity, but being in this class has shown me we must take an active part in working with the surrounding community. This class has shown examples of ways to build community by thinking outside the parameters of traditional roles of libraries and librarians. One of the things that stuck with me the most in the class (especially since we are not yet librarians) was that this community building initiative can be implemented-actually depends on being it- by the lowest echelon of library staff up to the director and Board members.
  • By appealing to those who make the laws and prominent community leaders on down to the lowest income patrons there are always opportunities if you look closely. You may not make the papers, or get Library Journal’s “Library of the Year” but it doesn’t negate its value. There may be partnerships forged that strengthen and enrich people’s lives and there may be partnerships fraught with enmity and make you look a fool for suggesting it, nevertheless one must try and hopefully the hits will be greater than the misses.
  • At my library there are programs and events that we think will be hugely popular and well attended that fall short of expectations, and then there are others that draw much more than expected without rhyme or reason- it was a perfect encapsulation of what we want our library to be- yet cannot be pinned down and copied. Both have their lessons to teach.
  • So we are always trying to recreate and find things that draw people to the library besides books and other media. That is what we always need to remember and this class has shown me: don’t rest on your laurels, keep striving to find classes, programs, community connections -people and groups- that keep the library current and always evolving away from stereotypes.
  • In many ways, community building is about far more than libraries promoting their services. Most of that is marketing. It’s about taking an active role in shaping how the community grows into itself and what it becomes. The library stands in the unique position of being able to provide support for all the different organizations of the community, rather than serving only some or itself.This class went a long way toward showing me what a library can do in a community, and what is expected of such a relationship. More than anything, I believe it is something that must be a two-way street. We are here to serve the community. We ask the community for support to continue to do so, but we must also lend our support to them wherever we can.Libraries exist as a haven for knowledge and peaceful literacy. They also provide avenues for learning new skills or refining old ones. Libraries offer a quiet place to study or to enjoy a good book. Now, libraries also provide families with something akin to free daycare, a place to play loud games, and also to vent frustrations. And, you know what? That’s okay.
  • As usual, I become motivated by the content of a course and work toward implementing some aspects into my daily work activities. Sometimes this can be as easy as identifying that a current activity is actually community building. More often it’s identifying opportunities and attempting to implement new actions. The thing I’ve found most surprising is the amount of time and energy investments that are required. That might sound silly. But to give it some perspective, in so many of the readings we learn about libraries that are responding to their communities. In the first week we read about how libraries added different services, storytimes and activities to meet community needs. My library is full of individuals who are excited by new ideas and willing to try new things. Even with this, new activities take a lot of work to be fully implemented. This reminded me of management classes and the importance to fully utilize team work. It’s truly too much for one individual to accomplish. And I’m thankful that my system is open to these sorts of changes. I can’t imagine how exceedingly difficult it would be in a hesitant system.
  • As this course comes to an end and I reflect upon what I will take away with me, one thing comes to mind; the importance of libraries and librarians to be part of the communities they serve. I always thought that public libraries were part of the community and that they help the community be what it was, this class has added perspective to that view for me and tools I will be able to use in my current position and in the future as a librarian in a public library.
    Knowing your community, what needs it has ways to reach out and how to work with other organizations to achieve goals in order to better serve the public are important steps to public librarianship.
  • This class has been an eye opener as to what constitute community building. Beyond the circulation desk are community needs that the library can fulfill. In our communities we have individuals who are marginalized due to income and have no clue as to how they will get out of the economic crunch. We also have individuals whose lack of education hampers their ability to succeed. At the rate that technological advancement is moving, some community members are being left behind. Communities today are diverse ethnically, educationally, economically, culturally, and socially and each one has its set of unique challenges. Through assessment and collaborations of the various components that make up a community, such as the local government, museums, religious institutions, and social service providers one begins to understand what needs to be done or what measures to institute to build a strong community.Community building is a call to service, which requires the dedication of individuals and organizations focusing on specific goals and needs. Library service should not be limited to the services provided through the circulation desk. The library provides education, information, research, and entertainment. In addition, the library helps people stay connected to a world beyond their neighborhoods and provides resources that some would not be able to afford.On the other hand, there is a resource that could be used more effectively by the library system, media organizations. Even though these organizations dedicate a portion of their programming to community outreach, the library could use local media to showcase the services and resources available. This is a win- win situation for both the media and the library because it demonstrates that both entities are concerned about the welfare of the community. In closing, if our contributions benefit the community, then we have achieved our objectives. As future information providers, to sustain and help strengthen our community’s librarians need to open more doors not just locally but globally.
  • “It takes a community to build a library”This semester I have learned so much about taking responsibility as a future librarian. It’s the librarian’s responsibility to engage the community and show all, young and old that the library belongs to them and that their voices matter.The library can be that “third place” like coffee shops, cafes, bookstores, and hair salons, where the community can go. The library can be a neutral place where the community can meet up and engage with one another.Also in this economic time more people are coming to library for information about jobs, job skills and entertainment (DVD’s and music) that they otherwise cannot afford. This time is the perfect opportunity to build deeper relationships with the community as we may have their undivided attention. It’s time to show the community the library’s worth.Community building has also pushed me to start a program at my library that is geared towards the health and self esteem of women and young girls. I have already seen a good response (full sign up sheet) and received help from corporate sponsors. The readings helped me realize that I had to get the ball rolling and spark the community but to also plug into what the community needed and wanted and not just what programs I wanted to facilitate.
  • I found this course to be especially interesting, especially as someone with little experience in a public library setting. In order for libraries to succeed, especially in these times, it is important that libraries not only “give” to their communities by providing access to information, but also make sure their community is being “served.” Its important for a library to stay relevant to the community, build relationships, outreach, and stay in touch with what’s going on in their neighborhood. 

January, 2011…………………………………………………………………….1-

  • Laura Bush Scholars, Cohort Two, Workshop………1-
  • Handouts………………………………………………………………….
  • Readings on Community Building

January 2011

Planning and writing for January 16, 2011 workshop.

Agenda and Presentation.

Librarians Building Communities

(LBC Scholars)

January 16, 2011

Q. “What will advance and transform Georgia’s libraries in the decades ahead?

A. The work and careers of the VSU LBC  Scholars in the 21st Century Librarian Program.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) a 2009 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant for $680,327. The money will be used to fund the GPLS “Librarians Build Communities” program, which will provide the scholarships needed to prepare 45 students to be public librarians and provide them with expertise in community building.“This grant will help GPLS strengthen community support for public libraries in Georgia, address Georgia’s shortage of librarians and provide a model for other states.”

Above- First cohort of LBC Scholars. August 28, 2010.

See our blog, Librarians Build Communities. https://librariansbuildcommunities.wordpress.com/

“Libraries Build Community,” means collaborating and forming partnerships and alliances. To be effective, we need to work with other libraries, groups, organizations and individuals who share our goals. —Sarah Ann Long, ALA’s millennial president, 1999–2000, A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building, ALA Editions, 2000.

COMMUNITY BUILDING STRATEGIES: HOW CAN LIBRARIANS ASSIST, ENGAGE, INCITE

    1. creating better homes and work places;

2. creating community schools and civic places;

3. encouraging smart growth;

4. enhancing our water resources;

5. empowering individuals and communities;

6. preserving open space and farmland;

7. preserving our cultural heritage;

8. promoting transportation choices;

9. reclaiming brownfields;

10. securing safe streets; and

11. strengthening local economies.

==================================================================

THREE QUESTIONS

  1. Is there something you’ve worked on that you would characterize as a successful community-building project? Why was it successful? What lessons did you learn?
  1. What do you wish you could do to build community from your library, but don’t feel you have time or resources for?
  1. If you could offer any advice to other library workers about community building, what would it be?

===============================================================

Below is a general reading list on community building. It will be posted at the Project blog: Librarians Build Communities.

Readings on Community Building and Libraries
LBC Scholars
Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians
Valdosta State University, 2011.

Bachowski, Donna. 2009. “Orlando Memory: Capturing Community Memories.” Florida Libraries 52, no. 2: 8-9.

Drueke, Jeanetta. 2006. “Researching Local Organizations: Simple Strategies for Building Social Capital” Reference & User Services Quarterly 45 Summer: 327-333.

Galan, Victoria. “Partners in Community Enhancement.” American Libraries 42, no. 3/4 (March/April 2011): 41

Garmer, Nancy. 2010. “Coleman Lecture Recognizes Special Commitments to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” SRRT Newsletter (September): 1.

Gehner, John. 2010. “Libraries, Low-Income People, and Social Exclusion.” Public Library Quarterly 29, no. 1: 39-47.

GLASS [Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services] libraries introduce facilities for local recording of audiobooks. GPLS News, December 2010. http://www.georgialibraries.org/news/articles.php?searchid=103

Graham, Elizabeth and Roberta Sparks. 2010. “Libraries as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Community Development: A Mayor’s Summit on Public Libraries.” Texas Library Journal 86, no. 1: 30-1.

Hildreth, Susan. 2007. “Engaging Your Community: A Strategy for Relevance in the Twenty-First Century.” Public Libraries 46, no. 3: 7-9.

Hill, Chrystie. 2009. Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community. Publisher: ALA Editions.

Hilyard, Nann Blaine. 2004. “Community Partnerships.” Public Libraries 43, no. 3:147-52.

Houlihan, Kathleen. “Changing Lives, One Story at a Time: The Austin Public Library’s Literature LIVE! Builds Community in Austin.” Texas Library Journal 87, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 26, 28-9.

Huwe, Terence K.. 2010. “Online History-Keeping for Outreach and Community Development.” Computers in Libraries 30, no. 1: 35-7.

LaRose, Robert, Sharon Strover, Jennifer L. Gregg and Joseph Straubhaar. 2011. “The impact of rural broadband development: Lessons from a natural field experiment.” Government Information Quarterly 28 (January 2011): 91-100.Long, Sarah Ann. 2001. “Libraries build community.” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 39, no. 1: 15-22.

“Libraries seen as important community asset.” Library Journal (1976) 136, no. 3 (February 2011): 14.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña and Maria A. Jones. 2002. “Cultural heritage institutions and community building.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 41, no. 4: 326-9.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2011. Introduction to Public Librarianship Neal-Schuman.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2000. A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building. Publisher: ALA Editions.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2004. “Public Libraries and People in Jail.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 44, no. 1: 26-30.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2000. Service Integration and Libraries: Will 2-1-1 be the Catalyst for Renewal?” Reference and User Services Quarterly 40 winter: 127-130.

Miller, Ellen G. and Patricia H. Fisher. 2007. “Getting on Your Community’s Leadership Team.” Georgia Library Quarterly 44, no. 1: 5-8.

Raleigh, Denise. “Fueled by the Power of Community.” Public Libraries 50, no. 1 (January/February 2011): 17-18.

Raphael, Molly. 2009. “The Transformational Power of Libraries in Tough Economic Times.” Library Leadership & Management 23, no. 3: 106.

Ristau, Stephen. 2010. “Get Involved: Promoting Civic Engagement through California Public Libraries.” California State Library Foundation Bulletin 12- 14.

Rutherford, Dawn. 2010. “Building Strong Community Partnerships: Sno-Isle Libraries and the Teen Project.” Young Adult Library Services 9: 23-5.

Senville, Wayne. 2009. “Libraries: The Hubs of Our Communities.” Mississippi Libraries 73, no. 3: 58-63.

Smallwood, Carol, ed. Librarians as community partners: an outreach handbook. American Library Association, 2010

Stoss, Frederick W.. 2003. “Sustainable Communities and the Roles Libraries and Librarians Play.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 42, no. 3: 206- 10.

Urban Libraries Council. 2010. Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities. This report profiles how a strategic and successful relationship between the public library and the local government can be formed in order to accomplish sustainability for a community. download free:

http://urbanlibraries.org/associations/9851/files/0110ulc_sustainability_singlepages_rev.pdf

Vogelar, Kris. “Grandville Reads! Reflections on a Partnership, a Book, and Making a Difference.” Public Libraries 50, no. 3 (May/June 2011): 8-9.

Williment, Kenneth. “It Takes a Community to Create a Library.” Public Libraries 50, no. 2 (March/April 2011): 30-5.

Zach, Lisl and Michelynn Mcknight. 2010. “Special Services in Special Times: Responding to Changed Information Needs During and after Community-Based Disasters.” Public Libraries 49, no. 2: 37-43.

Zach, Lisl and Michelynn McKnight. 2010. “Innovative Services Improvised During Disasters: Evidence-Based Education Modules to Prepare Students and Practitioners for Shifts in Community Information Needs.” Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 51, no. 2: 76-85.

Compiled by Kathleen de la Peña McCook.

Valdosta State University/ Georgia Public Library Service

LBC Scholars. 2011

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians.

Blogs Posts (hyperlinks):

1/1/2011

1/4/2011

1/6/2011

·     New Community Engagement Colleges and Universities.

·     2011 Emerging Leaders to Develop National Libraries Build Communities Program

1/11/2011

1/13/ 2011

1/14/ 2011

1/19/ 2011

·     Georgia and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

1/20/ 2011

1/22/2011

·     “Librarians Build Communities” Scholarship Kick-off Workshop Held at Valdosta State. Second Cohort.

LBC Scholars-January 2011

1/26/ 2011

·     Civic Commons and Shared IT Environment.

·     The Public Library as an Anchor Institution

  • This class has expanded my view of community. Before taking this class my view of community was very limited to those in our immediate circle. Now I know better.
  • This is one of the most fun class. I have taken during my whole master’s degree classes. I have loved every minute even when it was hard to keep. I love all my assignments. I wish I could take it again.
  • Community Building is a great concept that can be used to obtain funding for a library. It offers a great plan to build social capital via civic organizations, social programs or cultural programs. This was a great course that I have enjoyed very much. It was very educational. It is a perfect fit for the Valdosta Program.
  • This course has given me so many ideas on how to connect with the local community. I have been inspired by all of you!
  • I’ve offered the Roseville Public Library my services creating a “Water Rights Information Sheet” and will continue to attend meetings on the issue.
  • The community building concept learned through course readings presented models for committed librarians to initiate a plan for community building. Methods begin by defining what values make up a community followed by assessing what are the community’s issues and challenges. Libraries then document and present reliable data making the public aware the library matters. Built up trust between the library and the community sets the platform for librarians to serve as catalyst for creating civic, cultural and social service partnerships through engagement. Effective and sustained community building requires sincere dedication and action by librarians.
  • Final thoughts on community building prepare me to be an example for promoting innovative outreach in my community. Becoming aware of policy that affects librarianship is my priority. My plan of action is that of a concerned tax-paying citizen seeking information on issues that affect my community and a catalyst for positive engagement as the neighborhood librarian.
  • Though this semester was a short and fast-paced, I have come away with a better understanding of what it truly means to build community. I had never really appreciated the role a library can play in community building until taking this class. Some of the best examples of this came from my assignment two experiences. Whether it is offering programming to head-start facilities or partnering with local historical societies the library builds community. I hope to take the information I have gained from this class and apply it both in the library I currently work and future libraries in which I will one day work.
  • Thanks to this class, I attended my first ever city council meeting and made my way to a neat cultural center that I’d heard of, but never bothered to visit.
  •  Also thanks to this class, I can more clearly see how libraries and the civic, social and cultural entities in a community can work together for everyone’s mutual benefit.  I intend to stand out from other job applicants by pointing out my desire to enable that sort of cooperation if hired.

“Librarians Build Communities”

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Valdosta State University,

Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program

in partnership with

Georgia Public Library Service

August 28, 2010

Agenda

Campus Maps and directions available at: http://www.valdosta.edu/vsu/diremaps

Hotel list available at: http://www.valdostatourism.com

We suggest lodgings located near exit 18 as most convenient to campus.

Workshop Location:

VSU main campus, Odum Library, Room 1480

first floor, new wing, in periodicals room.

9:45 am                    Welcome by Dr. Wallace Koehler, Director, MLIS Program

Laptops distributed – Dr. Koehler and Ms. Lashanda Jones

10:15 am                    Introductions by Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook,                                                   Visiting Scholar*

Public Libraries and the Georgia Public Library Service – Dr. Linda Most, Professor, MLIS Program

10:45am – 12:00                 ID cards at University Card Center

12:00 – 1:30                       Lunch

campus lunch options are listed here: http://services.valdosta.edu/dining/hours.aspx

1:30pm – 2:15pm                 “Librarians Build Community”- an overview by K. McCook

2:30pm – 3:15pm                 Break-Out Session

3:30pm – 4:30pm                 Exchange of Ideas

4:30pm – 5:00pm                 Final thoughts and Farewell

*Dr. Kathleen de la Pena McCook, Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida, is the consultant to the grant program.  You can learn about Dr. McCook’s work at her website: http://shell.cas.usf.edu/mccook/

September- December, 2010

 

  1.  Blog
  2.  Discussion Points for Discussion Board
  3.  Planning for January 2011 Workshop.

 

  1. Blog: Librarians Building Communities

https://librariansbuildcommunities.wordpress.com/

The blog, Librarians Building Communities, is an ongoing conversation among community building librarians with a Georgia focus. sample entries:

Archive for December, 2010

  • Library Director Builds Community in Tough Times.Virginia Niles demonstrates how librarians can work to build communities.

Archive for November, 2010

  • How public libraries build community with technologies and programs, new and old.Libraries Build Community: from distribution to engagement -Webjunction. “Volunteering with Friends groups is rewarding experience.”
  • How public libraries build community with technologies and programs, new and old. Libraries Build Community: from distribution to engagement -Webjunction.

Archive for October, 2010

  • Cultural Institutions as Sites of Adult Education. (libraries, museums, zoos, natural places). New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. Special Issue: Adult Education in Cultural Institutions: Aquariums, Libraries, Museums, Parks, and Zoos.Volume 2010, Issue 127, pages 1–4, Autumn (Fall) 2010.
  • 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.President Obama has signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which requires that smart phones, television programs and modern communications technologies are accessible to people with vision and hearing loss.
  • Public Libraries as Contributing to Social Capital. Johnson, Catherine A.. 2010. Do Public Libraries Contribute to Social Capital? A Preliminary Investigation into the Relationship. Library & Information Science Research 32: 147-155.

Archive for September, 2010

  • Millennium Development Goals-Summit. With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York on 20-22 September to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

Archive for August 21, 2010

  • State Library Agencies Survey.A state library agency is the official agency of a state that is charged by state law with the extension and development of public library services throughout the state and that has adequate authority under state law to administer state plans in accordance with the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) (P.L. 104–208).

Archive for August 20, 2010

  • Navigating a Challenging Budget Year-    Your Library and its Community.

Your library, at its essence, is a community place. It is something special to everyone in your community who uses it, and even to those who don’t. In 2009, over 25 million Americans reported using their library more than 20 times in the last year.

Archive for August 8, 2010

  • IMPORTANCE OF SUMMER READING: public libraries play a significant role in helping to close the achievement gap in school performance.

Archive for August 2, 2010

  • Book drive benefits Athens libraries
  1. Discussion Points for Term

 

Discussion Points are topics for the BLAZEVIEW discussion Board at Valdosta State University

Social

Political,

Cultural

Human rights

Each December 10 as the world celebrates Human Rights Day–the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948–the world community builds solidarity and a unified vision.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the UDHR committee, was quoted as saying “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home–so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.” Acts on behalf of human rights happen in every library every day.

1)  need for professional commitment to human rights to transcend bland neutrality;

2) compare key human rights documents with the central core values of librarianship;

3) identify outstanding examples of library actions in service to human rights.

The library profession has a rich history of alignment with human-rights issues, movements, and declarations. Librarians have long been aware of the many ways human rights values intersect with the values of our profession. We may not be personally activist, or profess to be activist, but the library profession, like medicine and law, is bound to uphold its values. Human rights values permeate library policies beyond the professional round tables inhabited by intellectual freedom, social responsibilities, and international relations. As we carry on with our duties as public service librarians, we should keep in mind our history of human rights advocacy, and note the work we do today as a continuation of the commitment to the contributions of our programs, collections, and services toward keeping an open society, a public space where democracy lives.

The American Library Association endorses this principle, which is also set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Preamble of this document states that “. . . recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world. . . and . . . the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

: [ALA] “Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (UDHR)

The Livable Communities Initiative was created by the Clinton-Gore administration in 1999 to coordinate livable communities policies and activities across eighteen branches of the executive branch of the federal government. Four categories represent ways the federal government plays a supportive role in building livable communities:

1. expanding community choices by providing incentives;

2. expanding community choices by providing information;

3. being a good neighbor; and

4. building partnerships.(FN2)

Topics addressed by the Livable Communities Initiative include:

1. creating better homes and work places;

2. creating community schools and civic places;

3. encouraging smart growth;

4. enhancing our water resources;

5. empowering individuals and communities;

6. preserving open space and farmland;

7. preserving our cultural heritage;

8. promoting transportation choices;

9. reclaiming brownfields;

10. securing safe streets; and

11. strengthening local economies.

Poor and Homeless People

Human dignity, human rights and libraries intersect on other levels when citizens are denied library service because of their economic status. Recently, lack of equitable library services to homeless individuals and families have surfaced in Valparaiso, Indiana (Library bans homeless kids from checking out books) where the board of the Porter County Public Library temporarily limited lending privileges to homeless people, and in Worcester, Massachusetts, where a class action lawsuit was filed in July and won in September by three homeless patrons. (Hammel, Reis).  The Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association has reported on odor policies and civility campaigns that lead to the criminalization of poor people (Are public libraries criminalizing poor people?).

Gehner has tied treatment of poor and homeless people to literacy and the lack of attention to the needs of the poor by librarians: “Despite the well-established, life-long advantages that literacy and reading offer to individuals and society as a whole, we fail as a profession and as a nation, to deliver adequate resources to those who would benefit from them the most (p. 117).

In contradiction to ALA Policy 61, Library Services to the Poor and the Library Bill of Rights which promotes, among other things, “the removal of all barriers to library and information services, particularly fees and overdue charges” (ALA Policy Manual) the profession fails to live up to its ideals and those of human rights advocates in these circumstances. Overdue fines are another barrier public libraries may wish to reconsider in the light of economic hardships.

Spanish-Speaking People and Immigration

In Denver, the Denver Public Library was challenged by contemporary Know-Nothings who do not support Spanish language library branches and/or Spanish language materials, focusing their protests on the genre of “fotonovelas.” On August 8, 2005, the Coalition for A Closer Look (including the Colorado Minuteman Project, Sovereignty Colorado, and Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform) held a protest at the Denver Public Library. A letter was hand-delivered to the library demanding head librarian Rick Ashton’s resignation (Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform).

A year later, Gwinett County Public Library, outside Atlanta, Georgia, faced losing their director and cutting their Spanish language materials budget because of resident complaints. “We can’t supply pleasure reading material for all language groups, so we’re not going to go down that road,” said Lloyd Breck, chairman of the Gwinnett County Public Library Board (Grisham en espanol?).

In Still Struggling for Equality, a thorough assessment of U.S. librarian initiatives to serve immigrants and minorities from 1876 to the present,  Plummer Alston Jones Jr. provides hundreds examples of librarians who have looked to serve marginalized people and developed programs to provide basic information and literacy. The use of Jones’ book in concert with state and national policies and programs that were the framework for the JCLC help students and their faculty supervisors to recognize the variety of opportunities for service learning that will contribute to a world without old structures and tired ideas.

.

Community Engagement.

==========================

  1.  Planning for January 2011 Workshop.

How we as librarians and library supporters can “get librarians to the table” of community decision-making, regardless of whether the “community” is a college campus, school district, city or county.

Empowering and motivating librarians is what this conference is all about.

However, even though librarians are often motivated, decision-makers frequently ignore us.

If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty (Kennedy, 1960).

Today the call for community building and civic renewal resounds in the literature of the policy sciences, higher education, and the popular press. Civic renewal is the movement calling for citizens to participate in the local efforts that build community. In a city this might mean involvement in initiatives such as community development corporations; on a campus this might mean involvement in initiatives such those to create a campus environment of engagement.
Public librarians, as citizens of the community in which they work, and academic librarians, as citizens of the campus at which they work, need to participate in community initiatives and planning. By participating at the outset in planning and visioning, librarians will be at the table and in a position to identify opportunities for the library and its services to provide solutions to community and campus challenges. This is not a simple task.
For the public librarian who has identified serving adult new readers as important in a community of new Americans or an area in which there is a disproportionate high school dropout rate, there are likely already extant literacy providers, adult basic education programs, or English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Becoming a part of the planning committee for these initiatives might mean having to commit to a year or more of several meetings a month. The library may not be on the agenda. To ensure that the library becomes part of these initiatives, trust must be earned and the librarian must be included as an active partner–even if the library is not initially accepted as one part of the solution.

Is there something you’ve worked on that you’d call a successful community-building project? Why was it successful? What lessons did you learn?

What do you wish you could do to build community from your library, but don’t feel you have time or resources for?

If you could offer any advice to other library workers about community building, what would it be?

Abilock, Debbie. 2006. So close and so small: Six promising approaches to civic education, equity, and social justice. Knowledge Quest 34 (May/June): 9-16.

Buschman, John E. and Gloria J. Leckie. 2007. The library as place: History, community, and culture.  Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

“Community Indicators, Genuine Progress, and the Golden Billion,” by Kathleen de la Peña McCook and Kristin Brand. RUSQ 40 (Summer 2001). Strategies for the inclusion of libraries as key community indicators for quality of life assessment.

As librarians participate in the movement to build community, we are faced with a continuum of challenges: becoming part of local community indicator initiatives on one hand, and recognizing on the other that as part of the golden billion we are workers in a trusted institution. Working in libraries, we have an opportunity to enable people to aspire to greatness and to develop what Nobel laureate Amartya Sen characterizes as “human capabilities.” As we study and analyze the best way in which we might contribute to community building, it is important to recognize the complexity and ambiguity of using social indicators to reveal a society’s values.(FN19) Yet from an awareness of this complexity we will participate in the process.

Additional Readings:

Readings on Community Building and Libraries

LBC Scholars

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians

Valdosta State University

Bachowski, Donna. 2009. “Orlando Memory: Capturing Community Memories.”          Florida Libraries 52, no. 2: 8-9.

Drueke, Jeanetta. 2006. “Researching Local Organizations: Simple Strategies for Building Social Capital”   Reference & User Services Quarterly 45 Summer: 327-333.

Garmer, Nancy. 2010. “Coleman Lecture Recognizes Special Commitments to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” SRRT Newsletter  (September): 1.

Gehner, John. 2010. “Libraries, Low-Income People, and Social Exclusion.” Public Library Quarterly 29, no. 1: 39-47.

GLASS [Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services] libraries introduce facilities for local recording of audiobooks. GPLS News, December 2010. http://www.georgialibraries.org/news/articles.php?searchid=103

Graham, Elizabeth and Roberta Sparks. 2010. “Libraries as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Community Development: A Mayor’s Summit on Public Libraries.” Texas Library Journal 86, no. 1: 30-1.

Hildreth, Susan. 2007. “Engaging Your Community: A Strategy for Relevance in the Twenty-First Century.” Public Libraries 46, no. 3: 7-9.

Hill, Chrystie. 2009. Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library          Community. Publisher: ALA Editions.

Hilyard, Nann Blaine. 2004. “Community Partnerships.” Public Libraries 43, no. 3:147-52.

Huwe, Terence K.. 2010. “Online History-Keeping for Outreach and Community         Development.” Computers in Libraries 30, no. 1: 35-7.

LaRose, Robert, Sharon Strover, Jennifer L. Gregg and Joseph Straubhaar. 2011.  “The impact of rural broadband development: Lessons from a natural field experiment.” Government Information Quarterly 28 (January 2011): 91-100.

“Libraries Build Communities” 2011.  ALA 2011

Register to participate in this day-long service effort at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans to help local libraries and the community! http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/cro/projectsandactivities/librariesbuildcommunities.cfm

Long, Sarah Ann. 2001. “Libraries build community.” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 39, no. 1: 15-22.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña and Maria A. Jones. 2002. “Cultural heritage     institutions and community building.” Reference & User Services     Quarterly 41, no. 4: 326-9.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2000.  A Place at the Table: Participating in      Community Building. Publisher: ALA Editions.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2004. “Public Libraries and People in Jail.”          Reference & User Services Quarterly 44, no. 1: 26-30.

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. 2000. Service Integration and Libraries: Will 2-1-1   be the Catalyst for Renewal?” Reference and User Services Quarterly 40      winter: 127-130.

Miller, Ellen G. and Patricia H. Fisher. 2007. “Getting on Your Community’s Leadership Team.” Georgia Library Quarterly 44, no. 1: 5-8.

Raphael, Molly. 2009. “The Transformational Power of Libraries in Tough Economic Times.” Library Leadership & Management 23, no. 3: 106.

Ristau, Stephen. 2010. “Get Involved: Promoting Civic Engagement through California Public Libraries.” California State Library Foundation Bulletin 12-         14.

Rutherford, Dawn. 2010. “Building Strong Community Partnerships: Sno-Isle Libraries and the Teen Project.” Young Adult Library Services 9: 23-5.

Senville, Wayne. 2009. “Libraries: The Hubs of Our Communities.” Mississippi Libraries 73, no. 3: 58-63.

Stoss, Frederick W.. 2003. “Sustainable Communities and the Roles Libraries     and Librarians Play.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 42, no. 3: 206- 10.

Urban Libraries Council. 2010. Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities. This report profiles how a strategic and successful relationship between the public library and the local government can be formed in order to accomplish sustainability for a community. download free:

http://urbanlibraries.org/associations/9851/files/0110ulc_sustainability_singlepages_rev.pdf

Zach, Lisl and Michelynn Mcknight. 2010. “Special Services in Special Times: Responding to Changed Information Needs During and after Community-        Based Disasters.” Public Libraries 49, no. 2: 37-43.

Zach, Lisl and Michelynn McKnight. 2010. “Innovative Services Improvised         During Disasters: Evidence-Based Education Modules to Prepare Students and Practitioners for Shifts in Community Information Needs.”      Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 51, no. 2: 76-85.

Compiled by Kathleen de la Peña McCook.

Valdosta State University/ Georgia Public Library Service

LBC Scholars.      Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians.

Class Photos from Kick-Off Sessions.

Cohort I.

Cohort II.

Cohort III

Advertisements

1 Comment

Trackback this post


%d bloggers like this: