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 »
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[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 […]