Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Librarians as Community Partners

Finished January 5
Librarians as Community Partners: an Outreach Handbook edited by Carol Smallwood

This book contains articles on sixty-six different outreach initiatives by librarians across the United States. The articles are all succinct and well-organized, ranging from one to four pages in length. The encompass different types of libraries as well as a variety of target groups.
They are organized into different sections, The first one is the most general, entitled "A Sampler of Outreach Programs" and includes ideas from library docents to digitization projects. The second looks at outreach targeting seniors and at least one of the articles here directly addresses the issue of what to refer to this subgroup of adults as, something my library has struggled with. The third section looks at youth outreach, mostly for teens, from homeschooled teens to teen theater. The fourth has three examples of correctional facility outreach, again mostly focused on youth. The fifth section has three examples of using special collections in outreach projects. Part six has two examples of partnering with local media. Part seven has six examples of outreach through book festivals. Part eight focuses on classroom outreach from public schools to colleges. The ninth section looks at outreach to highlight and address diversity and there are many great ideas here for immigrants of all ages. Part ten is the largest section with fourteen examples of partnering with community groups. With the wide variety of types of community groups, this perhaps offers the most variety of possibilities.
My library system has many partnerships, some long-standing, some recent, and some in the progress of being set up. With the move to the community-led model of librarianship, this book offers numerous ideas and many will lead to more ideas going forward. An excellent addition to any library's staff collection.

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