In 2009 the Biblionet program was launched in Romania through the generous support of Global Libraries at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program had trained nearly 2,500 librarians and equipped over 1,700 public libraries with computers and patron training. WebJunction’s Jennifer Peterson traveled to Romania to present as part of the Librarian Trainers’ Conference this month, where the more than 100 librarian trainers gathered. It’s obvious that these trainers are most notably responsible for the impact this program is having on Romanian communities. [Photo by Bogdan Grigore]
During the 2012 Annual ALA conference in Anaheim, three librarians from Colorado attended an all-day pre-conference at the Disney Institute, organized by ALA’s Learning Round Table. Through their panel presentations in the webinar, What Would Walt Do?, Crystal Schimpf, Program Manager at the Community Technology Network, Elena Rosenfeld, Associate Director of Public Service at High Plains Library District, and Suzanne McGowan, Branch Manager at Anythink Wright Farms each confirm that the take-aways from Disney’s Quality Service training is not only relevant for today, but relevant for today’s libraries.
I have a theory that there is a little bit of magic involved in public library community outreach programs. I don’t believe that the magic is a component of making a good community outreach program. Rather, I believe the magic comes after. It is what happens when our community engages with our program, our staff, and our library. We spend weeks and often months planning and preparing, writing vision statements and proposed impact statements. But we are rarely prepared for true impact we make on individual lives. Those moments—albeit made by hard work and commitment—create magical moments for our communities. If you watch our recent webinar, Outreach Programs in Rural Communities: Simple Steps for Surprising Results presented by Barbara Blake, Outreach Coordinator for the PEARL Project, and Louise W. Greene, Association for Rural and Small Libraries Board Member and PEARL Mentor, you might begin to believe in my theory, too.
This season of giving is a good time to reflect on inclusion, particularly how libraries reach out to underserved communities with their services. For libraries, outreach is about reaching out to those who don’t know how awesome the library is—to non-users. In a renewed look at library outreach, we consider the what, why, who and how of outreach, with examples of three innovative programs. Read more »
What does library outreach mean to you? Take the poll.
[Photo: Mother-Daughter Book Club, courtesy of the Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library District on Flickr]
This season of giving is a good time to reflect on inclusion, particularly how libraries reach out to underserved communities with their services. For libraries, outreach is about reaching out to those who don’t know how awesome the library is—to non-users and people with special needs that could be addressed by library services. In a […]
“Advocate or die.” These words were typed into chat by a participant during our recent webinar, Energize Your Base: Tips & tools to raise awareness and build support for library services. Perhaps it sounds like hyperbole. However, I suspect for many of you, it sounds like exactly where you’re at. Our ability to provide programs, services, and resources that go beyond books has collided head first into an economic recession. As a result, our communities—who probably have never understood how libraries are funded—don’t begin to understand all that libraries do now. It’s a dangerous combination. Luckily, we have many advocacy tools and resources at our disposal. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) continues to support innovative, yet practical, tools to help library staff develop crucial advocacy skills and foster a community of library advocates. Karen Perry, Senior Program Officer for Global Libraries at BMGF led the webinar which looked at three tools that help library staff build awareness of our libraries’ services and impact and develop a community of people who are energized and passionate about our libraries—a community of library advocates.
3D printing conjures notions of the Star Trek replicator—a computerized machine that can turn a verbal command into 3-dimensional objects, including food items. The evolution of 3D printers is advancing rapidly toward and even beyond that sci-fi vision. This is transformative technology. And libraries are positioned to be a hub of the transformation.
What do you think of 3D printers in the library? Take the poll.
[Photo: Patron pleased with her 3D-printed thing at Fayetteville Free Library's FabLab; courtesy of Theron Trowbridge on Flickr]
As library professionals, we give a lot of presentations. We present at conferences, to our board, to our patrons, and we are even called upon to present to our immediate colleagues. It’s probably why so many of us feel the pressure to become better presenters. This week, one of WebJunction’s most compelling presenters, Betha Gutsche, shared her strategies for creating powerful PowerPoint presentations in her webinar, The Power of Image.
Gutsche’s artistic background, coupled with a long-standing interest in brain research (and many years delivering face-to-face and online presentations) has resulted in deep subject matter expertise in visual communication. We’ve all attended presentations where we thought ‘death by PowerPoint’ might actually be possible. But Gutsche reminds us that PowerPoint can actually play a strong supporting role in our presentation—a tool that adds an extra punch to what we’re saying and further engages our audience. We can harness and take advantage of this tool by understanding why visual content is powerful and following some basic principles.
The Pew Internet Project, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, continues to investigate the place that e-reading and libraries have in Americans’ reading habits. Following a series of previous reports this year: Librar…
The Montana State Library and the Job Service Offices of the Montana State Workforce Services Division discovered they were ideal partners to engage in an effort to offer training to library staff members to support their job-seeking patrons.
What are the challenges facing rural library staff in Poland? What programs and services do their communities need? Without giving too much away, I can tell you that their challenges and their successes will probably resonate with many of you.
We all know that partnerships are often time-consuming, occasionally cumbersome, but sometimes bring rich rewards. The Freedom Rings Partnership, a digital inclusion initiative funded by Federal stimulus monies, is an example of a partnership that is truly more than the sum of its parts. Over the last 18 months, The Free Library of Philadelphia, People’s Emergency Center, and 4 other city-selected agencies, have managed the implementation of 77 public computing centers, called “key spots”, located across Philadelphia. In their recent webinar, Freedom Rings in Philadelphia, Jennifer Donsky, Public Services Technology Library Coordinator at The Free Library of Philadelphia and Lorelei Shingledecker, Program Manager, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program at People’s Emergency Center, shared how these 6 partners are bringing Internet access, computer assistance and digital opportunities to Philadelphians with the least access to broadband.
Working with neighborhood-based nonprofits and community organizations, the Freedom Rings partnership develops infrastructure around technology, staffing and operations, and program development so that the key spots can serve as technology-enabled community hubs. The criteria for serving as key spots included success as existing community anchor and an ability to easily integrate technology into their missions and daily program offerings. This allows a broad range of community
In a world of constant change, there are those who resist and those who are leaping forward to make things happen. Fortunately, the library field has a healthy contingent of “leapers”—library professionals who are full of ideas for how to renew and reinvent libraries and looking for opportunities to make change happen. Whether you’re making it happen independent of bureaucracy (“on the fringes”) or working within existing organizational structure, there are some key steps to making it work.
Are you making it happen in the library field? Take the poll.
[Photo: young library professional Gretchen by zsrlibrary on Flickr]