As I said yesterday, the Library and the Community presentation was very interesting. It covered two of my current favorite themes: outreach and democracy. OK, maybe Democracy is a bit of a stretch here, but it does show people without means that the library is for them, too. One thing that really upsets me is when public libraries are treated as if they are only for the powerful people, even when it’s not the powerful people who need their services the most (this will probably come up later, when I discuss a friend’s presentation on the Commodification of the Library.)
Ms. Florea talks about collaborations with different community agencies. Some examples:
- Creating tote bags with books about issues facing families (divorce, death, new babies) and having local aid agencies give parents “prescriptions” for the tote bags
- Leaving recently de-selected but still decent books at WIC offices for parents to read while they’re there or even take home if necessary
- Providing traveling storytimes for community centers with childcare, such as the Y or Boys and Girls Club, who can’t always get their children to the library
Various funding options were discussed. Some of the outreach was carried out with the help of grants from Health and Human Services and other organizations.
Attendees also shared examples of outreach from their communities.