This month we’re looking into the Community Engagement category. Volunteers in libraries are a long standing practice, though their implementation and use varies widely. We’re looking at the history of volunteers in B.C. and exploring questions about their validity, use, pros, cons, and current practices.
Curry, A. (1996). Volunteers in unionized Canadian public libraries: A Finely Tuned Partnership. Libraries & Culture, 31(1), 144.
Note: This article gives a historical perspective to volunteers in a specific context. Despite the publication date, it provides a needed frame for discussion. If your group is outside of Canada (or B.C. specifically), you may find the supplementary report below enough fodder for discussion. Or you could investigate the history of volunteers in libraries in your locale.
Optional Supplementary Report
“Engage, Cultivate, Provide, Assess: An Outreach Model for Serving All Children and Families White Paper“, American Library Association, December 30, 2019.
- Does your library utilize volunteers? In what capacity?
- What are the challenges and rewards of volunteers in libraries?
- What are best practices around volunteers in libraries, specifically with regards to outreach services?
Discussion Group Meeting
Sunday, February 23rd from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The Vancouver group will be meeting at the Athlete’s Village Housing Co-op Common Room located at 151 W 1st Ave. Please email us for more details.
This month we’re looking into the Community Engagement category. The articles look at how libraries are working with community members to plan and design their spaces, as well as investigating barriers community members face to accessing the library fully.
Miettinen, Virve. “Redefining the Library: Co-Designing for Our Future Selves and Cities.” Public Library Quarterly. 2018, Vol. 37, No. 1, 8–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/01616846.2017.1379348. Download article here.
Pateman, John. “Developing Community-Led Systems.” Community -Led Work in Practice: Experiences from Canadian libraries. pg. 1-2. Download article here.
Discussion Group Meeting
Sunday, June 10th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The Vancouver group will be meeting at the Athlete’s Village Housing Co-op Common Room located at 151 W 1st Ave. Please email us for more details.
Here are some suggested discussion questions to think about when reading through the pieces.
- What were the key objectives of the article? Are the objectives relevant to libraries?
- What conclusions did the authors come to and were they just?
- What were the strengths/weaknesses of the piece? (I.e. Was there bias? Did they use credible sources? Were their data gathering methods sound?)
- What kind of organizational and cultural changes would your library have to undertake to implement this model?
- What skills and qualities do we as library staff need to do community-led work?
- What barriers to access do your community members face? How can the library help alleviate these barriers?
Can’t Make It To the Meeting?
There’s lots of ways to get involved! Participate online: share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #lscjournalclub. Find a local group or try hosting a journal club meeting in your local community. Let us know about it so we can spread the word. If you set up a local group, test your presentation skills by leading the discussion.
Leave a comment here with any questions or your thoughts about the articles.