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Presentation Libraries Building Communities Dr. Charles R. Lane Executive Director Community Strengthening & Volunteering Monday 13 December 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation Libraries Building Communities Dr. Charles R. Lane Executive Director Community Strengthening & Volunteering Monday 13 December 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation Libraries Building Communities Dr. Charles R. Lane Executive Director Community Strengthening & Volunteering Monday 13 December 2004

2 Department for Victorian Communities (DVC) Our Aim Active, Confident, Resilient Communities Our Focus Community Strengthening Linking Up Services People and Place

3 The structure of DVC –DVC Ministerial Portfolios: –Local Government –Sport and Recreation (inc Commonwealth Games) –Youth Affairs –Multicultural Affairs –Womens Affairs –Aboriginal Affairs –Employment Programs –Senior Victorians –Community Strengthening

4 Features of successful community strengthening: Leadership by local social entrepreneurs Involvement of a wide range of stakeholders Sustainable local institutions Meeting places and spaces Knowing local data and what is valued Encouragement of volunteer involvement

5 Social capital is positively correlated with: Lower crime rates Improved health Higher educational attainment Increased governmental efficacy Higher individual income Improved economic performance (Productivity Commission, Social Capital, 2003, Ch. 3)

6 Community strengthening interventions drive a wedge in the cycle of disadvantage High social cohesion Disadvantaged postcodes with high levels of low birth weight High school drop out rates (0.55) Much lower drop out rates (0.12) Low social cohesion with Source: Community Adversity and Resilience, Tony Vinson, March 2004 (Jesuit Social Services) Ch 5

7 Community strengthening interventions drive a wedge in the cycle of disadvantage High social cohesion Source : Community Adversity and Resilience, Tony Vinson, March 2004 (Jesuit Social Services) Ch 5 Disadvantaged postcodes with high levels of early school leaving Strong correlation with imprisonment (0.46) Very low correlation with imprisonment (0.11) Low social cohesion with

8 Evidence is growing that community strengthening works Greater sense of safety Improved health status Improved sense of control over ones life Feeling more valued More involvement in civic life The Victorian Population Health Survey (2003) demonstrates that strong social networks lead to:

9 Community strengthening trends are generally positive IndicatorPercent Change Feeling safe walking alone down the street after dark55 59% Enjoying diversity, including multiculturalism, in the local area 69 73% Feeling there are opportunities to have a real say on issues that are important 36 42% Feeling valued by society42 55% Volunteering32 35% Members of organised groups – all groups68 63% Members of organised groups – sports groups29 28% Members of organised groups – school groups15 15% Attendance at local community eventsn/a Ability to get help from friends, family or neighbours92 92% Ability to raise $2000 within two days in an emergency79 80% Source: Department of Human Services 2004 and DVC analysis

10 However, we dont know what drives different community strengthening outcomes at the level of people and place (including the role of government interventions) Source: DVC 2004

11 Policy implications profound Community strengthening can buffer the impact of poverty & disadvantage for many Solutions are not complicated –Volunteering –Being active (sport, recreation, arts) –People to turn to for support –Community, Business and Government Partnerships –Government working together A new form of prevention / early intervention – touches all departments Reduces demand on statutory services – child protection / prison system Close to being able to quantify cost effectiveness Basis for a new approach to social policy

12 DVCs Outcomes focus

13 Libraries as community asset Confirmed by LBC research Locus of community strengthening activities Focal point for social, learning & cultural engagement Meeting place Linking with government – grants Place for redressing Social exclusion Equity & justice issues Communities of disadvantage New & emerging communities Digital divide

14 Government investing in libraries VCSG funding for community infrastructure Support of community hubs including libraries Range of community needs and activities accommodated Generally, library component funded by Council Supported by Living Libraries grants (CSF through LGV) $12m program, up to 50% final eligible cost, max of $500,000 Purposes: Extend & improve library services Increase facilities available for library services Support innovation, flexibility & creativity Provide modern, life-long building infrastructure


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