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Involving Your Community

During difficult times I am noticing that many libraries are wishing that they had better relationships with their communities that they could draw upon for support (financial, political, influence). Hindsight is 20/20 since difficult times make it very clear what should have happened in the past. We can’t change the past, but we can begin anew.
Remember the famous OCLC report that discovered that library support was highest among those citizens who did NOT have a library card. Hmmmmmm. I guess we also need to know who the infuencers are and who needs to be influenced,
Blue Skunk blog is reporting on three strategies that have been brainstormed. It’s mainly focused on the needs of school libraries but it’s not a big leap to adapt this. Check it out here.
Building influence with community groups

1. Presentations to community groups.
2. Hold open school library nights and work with Community Education to offer adult education classes in your library.
3. Invite the press into your library for special activities, lessons and events.
It’s never too late to start. Can schools get parents/voters on side? Can public libraries engage their strongest supporters? Even academic budgets are seeing stresses bigger than most have ever experienced – who do they need to influence and how?

Posted on: August 7, 2009, 7:59 am Category: Uncategorized

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