Librarians are natural problem solvers, so engaging with the community and helping to solve real-life community challenges should be an easy fit for us. And for some, it is. For others, who like the safety of the library’s four walls and the status quo of traditional library services, community outreach can be daunting. Rest assured that there are many tools and resources to help you look outward and help make your community better.
Paula Wilson Author Archive
Paula Wilson is an Administrative Librarian with over with over 20 years public library experience. She has worked in a variety of positions with the Providence (RI) Public Library, Las Vegas-Clark County (NV) Library District, and the Maricopa County (AZ) Library District. An ALA author, she is also a member of AZLA, PLA, and ALA. She received her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island and a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University with an emphasis in Latin American Studies.
Do you really want more boys and men in your libraries? Of course you do! Libraries are for everyone. So, if your library suffers from low-t then jumpstart your bro-grams and soon it will be “raining men” inside your library—everything from events that draw them in to the collection that keeps them coming back. What does your library need to attract men of all ages?
Did you know that Americans really do love their libraries? Research shows the reason for this lovefest fits into three broad categories: information access, public space, and our transformative potential, according to research by Wayne Wiegand in his book, “Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library. So, why are we so worried about the future of our libraries? People love us, right? Yes, they do, but that love is not always measured by their willingness to allocate funding to our budgets. Which begs the question, “How do we transform this unquestionable love for public libraries into increased funding?” Enter the librarian.
What if every child in your community visited your library next month? Take Your Child to the Library Day aims to do just that!
While the world watches how the United States implements its Refugee Resettlement Program, you might be asking yourself, “Will I see an influx of refugees in my community?” and “How will my library serve refugees?”
It won’t be too much of a challenge to embrace ALA’s newly released Libraries Transform public awareness campaign. After all, librarians have been transforming themselves and their communities since the inception of libraries. Although there was a time in our history we librarians were quite sluggish to adapt, over the last twenty years we’ve made up for it in leaps and bounds. This three-year campaign will officially launch to the profession and the public in the fall of 2015 so now is a great time to review the campaign and contemplate how you will implement it in your community.
Do you want to create social engagement within your community, develop a more participatory library, and create user-centered innovations? If so, then consider crowdsourcing the library.
If you are anything like me you take a look at yourself in the mirror at least once a day. You might check your hair, shave your face. or adjust your tie. Perhaps a feeble attempt to change how people perceive us (maybe a little lipstick would help?). So, what do public libraries do to change people’s perception of them? Our regulars get us, they know us. But what about people who read about us in the mainstream media? How might they perceive public libraries if they knew us only through headlines and news stories?