Presentation on theme: "Reaching Out Reaching Out: The Public Library Serving the Community Annual Joint Conference Thursday 19 April 2012 Ciarán Mangan."— Presentation transcript:
Reaching Out Reaching Out: The Public Library Serving the Community Annual Joint Conference Thursday 19 April 2012 Ciarán Mangan
Public Library Research Programme Managed by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna & co- funded by the Dept of Environment, Community and Local Government & LA’s Invitation to libraries to submit projects / areas of research of interest and benefit to entire service (April 2009) Submission by MCL to research on: Volunteering in the Library
Public Library Research Committee Annette Kelly, Assistant Director, ACL Fionnuala Hanrahan, Wexford Co Librarian Dave Corcoran, A.P.O.,DoECLG Prof Michael Casey, Ex DepLIS, UCD Role is to administer the programme, as set out in Branching Out & assess and monitor progress of research.
Steering Group to oversee project Donal Tinney, Sligo Co Librarian Tadhg McDonnell, Director of Service, MCC Sara Hearns / Jane Brophy, LGMA Annette Kelly, ACL Ciarán Mangan _________________________________ Consultant: Professor Michael Casey Also member of the PLRP ________________________________ Researchers: Shauna Henry & Frances Tallon
Reaching Out Reaching Out The Public Library Serving the Community A study of community engagement, community partnerships, joint use libraries and volunteering in public libraries in Ireland
Community Engagement means engaging with the general public and with other service providers, community groups and local organisations to devise and plan the best and most appropriate public library provision for a given community. It involves openness in communication, in encouraging community involvement, in space sharing, and in project innovation to encourage maximum use of library services for the benefit of all sectors of the local community.
Community Partnership means establishing formal links with service providers and other organisations who share the public library service ethos of openness, space for all and social inclusion. This involves researching and establishing appropriate partnerships to deliver joint services, projects and initiatives to benefit all sectors of society. It also involves assisting groups and individuals to achieve their full potential in their communities.
Joint Use Libraries means sharing library premises with other groups in the community such as, for example, health service providers or Heritage Centres; or providing library services to distinct user groups such as the general public and college students from one library premises. Joint use can allow for greater use of a premises, or better stock and service provision for greater numbers of people.
Volunteering means that individuals or groups freely offer their services of time and expertise for the benefit of society at large or their local community. In this research study, it also means examining the formal establishment of volunteer programmes through community engagement and partnership initiatives and joint use policies for the betterment of public library service provision
Project Aims and Objectives 1. Undertake an international review and evaluation of the current status of policies and practice by public library authorities in countries outside Ireland in the 4 strands: Focus was on UK, US & Canada, Australia
Project Aims and Objectives, cont’d 2. Undertake a review and evaluation of the current status of policies and practice by public library authorities in Ireland in the 4 strand areas This was very positive in terms of initiatives and programmes, less so in terms of policies - it forms Ch. 7 of the interim report
Project Aims and Objectives, cont’d 3. Ascertain the views of all relevant parties in Ireland on issues relating to the four stated strands including the following: City and County librarians [and frontline library staff] City and County Managers Association (CCMA) Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) [Local Authority Directors of Services] Relevant trades union, i.e. IMPACT [Volunteers] [views from those in italics to be sought at pilot stage]
Project Aims and Objectives, cont’d 4. On the basis of desk and field research, define and assess: public library policies good practice models and operational and developmental issues relating to the four strands, both at home and abroad.
Some Findings, very briefly Citizen centred policies focus attention on the public library as a meeting and communications hub within local communities Community engagement is seen a catalyst and a channel for local democracy, active citizenship and the empowerment of local communities Partnerships can involve high level collaboration between local, regional and national state agencies in literacy provision, technology training, social and cultural inclusion and integration, healthcare, environment and many other areas
Some Findings, very briefly T hree forms of joint use/integration of services identified - minimal integration (co-located facilities with individual services maintained); selective integration (sharing of specific projects or departments); and full integration (both facilities share one mission) Need for continuous self-evaluation and for on- going transparent external evaluation to minimise difficulties and foster joint use synergies
Some Findings, very briefly volunteering in public library services is successful because it: achieves added value by offering additional services, extends or improves existing services, improves all aspects of library resources, defines volunteer roles & best practice models, frees staff to concentrate on core work, enhances specialist skills base, e.g. ICT skills, supports volunteer personal development. 14 out of 32 Lib A’s use volunteers, 18 do not
Next Steps disseminate interim report apply to the PLRP Committee for support to progress to a pilot phase, to field test the findings of this report and advance the project towards a working model of community engagement by public library authorities in Ireland.
Pilot phase Invitation to all 32 library authorities to participate in one of 4 pilots under the 4 strands (1 pilot per strand) Each pilot to have several participants Pilot to be carried out according to a pre- determined template, using quantifiable, analysable, scientific data [not anecdote] Possibly year long pilot phase Resulting in 1) policies 2) toolkits 3) best practice models