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It Takes a Library to Raise a Community Marjatta Asu & Leanne Clendening Ontario Library Service-North OLA SuperConference 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "It Takes a Library to Raise a Community Marjatta Asu & Leanne Clendening Ontario Library Service-North OLA SuperConference 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 It Takes a Library to Raise a Community Marjatta Asu & Leanne Clendening Ontario Library Service-North OLA SuperConference 2007

2 2 Welcome OLS-North & community development The library board & community development It Takes a Library to Raise a Community

3 3 Challenges

4 4 Municipal Cultural Planning Forums …asset-based community development… mapping broadly defined local cultural resources … leverages these resources for economic development and community building. Provincial policy makers Municipal staff/ associations Cultural sector Creative City Network of Canada

5 5 Terminology Capacity Community development Community or social sustainability Human capital Social capital Social inclusion Community asset mapping Community engagement Community of interest

6 6 Only when all of the capacities of local individuals, associations and institutions have been inventoried thoroughly; only when these local assets have begun to look first to their relationships with each other for solving problems;... only then should the community begin to consider leveraging resources from the outside. Kretzmann and McKnight (1993), 353 Asset-based Internally focused Relationship driven Community asset mapping

7 7 Neighbourhood needs map Crime Child abuse Sub-standard housing Illiteracy Drug abuse Mental illness Broken families Teenage pregnancy Pollution Unemployment Welfare dependency Domestic violence Dropouts Gangs AIDS Alcoholism Homelessness Abandonment Capacity building McKnight & Kretzman, Module 3:Community&Economic Development, Chapter 2: Mapping Community Capacity

8 8 Community asset mapping Communities have never been built upon their deficiencies. Building community has always depended upon mobilizing the capacities and assets of a people and place. That is why a map of neighbourhood assets is necessary if local people are to find the way toward empowerment and renewal. McKnight and Kretzman

9 9 Individual capacities Individual businesses Personal income Religious organizations Cultural organizations Hospitals Neighbourhood asset map Fire depts. Associations Energy/ Waste resources Social service agencies Business associations Home-based enterprise Police Parks Higher education institutions Welfare expenditures Vacant land, buildings, etc. Public schools Libraries Public information Capital improvement expenditures Gifts of labeled people McKnight & Kretzman, Module 3:Community&Economic Development, Chapter 2: Mapping Community Capacity

10 10 Mapping community capacity Your community asset map (Worksheet 4) Capacity inventory of individuals (Adapted from Kretzmann & McKnight; Beaulieu) Individuals Citizen associations Local institutions

11 11 A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building … Connecting libraries to community organizations is the way to multiply the effectiveness of libraries in community building…. the work librarians do on a daily basis clearly fits into community building activities. McCook (2000) 40 every-table/index.html

12 12 Shared values of community builders Community involvement Awareness of community issues Connection as a responsibility Integration of service Community building as a value The library can make a difference McCook, 2000 …there should be a librarian at every table

13 13 A voice at the table … Communities of interest Community issues/ goals Community assets Library/ community connections Library capacity Library goals Worksheets & Checklists

14 14 The Community Table Environmen t Resourc e Sector Unemployed Children & Youth Labour Health Public Library Other Stakeholders Businesses Leisure Sports & Recreation Senior Citizens Literacy Education Municipal Government The community table (Worksheet 1) Matrix of library-community connections (Worksheet 2)

15 15 At the community table As the librarys presence in the community decreases, so does its value and visibility to the community. Penny S. Markey, 1977 The library in the community (Worksheet 3)

16 16 Libraries and community capacity Key support to economic development –Job creation –Education, training, skills development –Cultural development –Social capital

17 17 Library capacity Capacity Inventory of Individuals Capacity Building for Libraries Skills, culture, attitude Commitment to training Identify opportunities & strengths Leadership, planning Belief … mix of skills, people, plans, and commitment to do what needs to be done. Frank and Smith, 10

18 18 Define library assets (capacities) Centre of neighbourhoods flow of information Computers & the Internet Critical information Community meeting space Cultural projects Public libraries are public institutions with community-building potential

19 19 How will you recognize capacity? Frank & Smith (1999) People are active, interested, participating Questioning, challenging, debating NOT complaining More people are involved Results are becoming obvious

20 Partners in capacity building

21 21 Partners in capacity building Checklist #1: The librarys role as a community partner Checklist #2: Community access to government Skill builder Community connector Information provider

22 22 Libraries & the local economy Checklist #3: The librarys role in local economic development Checklist #4: Employment and financial resources Capacity building BR+E Access to services & resources Cultural & community centre

23 23 Libraries & lifelong learning Checklist #5: Lifelong learning and information literacy Lifelong learning Capacity building Information literacy skills

24 24 Libraries & community culture Culture …is the glue that holds communities together and makes them last over generations…. Culture is the soul and life force of a community… Nozick (1992),181 Checklist #6: The librarys role in the communitys cultural and social development

25 25 Libraries & social development …there has to be continuing, meaningful human interaction in order to create the social bonding which is a prerequisite to building community culture. Nozick (1992), Checklist #6: The librarys role in the communitys cultural and social development

26 26 Libraries & social inclusion Those who are socially excluded have nowhere else to go. The library could become an important resource in their life. Brian Campbell, National Director of the Working Together: Library – Community Connections Project, 2005 Checklist #6: The librarys role in the communitys cultural and social development

27 27 Libraries & the digital divide Checklist #7: The librarys role in bridging the digital divide Digital divide Capacity building Community prosperity E-government initiatives New technologies

28 28 Next steps Worksheet 1: The community table Worksheet 2: Matrix of library – community connections Worksheet 4: Your community asset map Worksheet 3: The library in the community Library goals for community building

29 29 The Engaged Library Get outside the doors Find the leaders Be creative about what the library can contribute Discover and contribute to the unique capacities and conditions of the community Support local businesses and institutions Make the library building a community centre Create a community-minded culture among library staff and volunteers Support library investments that jump start community redevelopment efforts The Engaged Library: Chicago Stories of Community Building (2005)


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