Community Led Library Service Development

Course Objectives:

Presenter: Francisca Goldsmith

Do you want to find a way to provide public library services needed and wanted by diverse community sectors—without adding projects or increasing budget? Do you believe the library can play and important role in community members’ civic engagement? How do you determine what staff should be doing in order to offer the best library services for your community?

Community-led service development has a long history in British public libraries and a nearly decade-long track record in Canada. Instead of adding projects or tasks to library staff in an effort to promote library services, the community-led approach establishes the library staff as trained listeners and brokers of awareness to provide service development for both marginalized and comfortable community sectors.

The community-led approach helps the library to identify which traditional library roles are now redundant, and thus of little worth to the community, allowing both professional library staff and support staff to concentrate on those services that are meaningful to the public. Community-led service development allows both the community and its library staff to grow, become engaged in the civic sphere they share and find the best venues for individuals to pursue their aspirations for their primary needs of health and welfare, as well as life-long learning and the support of personal values.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:

Be able to identify the key aspects of community-led service development that differentiate it from traditional outreach and/or customer service approaches. Be prepared to identify and research model community-led public library service providers that match your library’s size and staffing levels. Be able to determine whether community-led library service development can improve your local library’s potential as a civic service agency. Understand and be able to communicate to public library stakeholders the major issues associated with the community-led service development approach – including training, tax support, and mission realization.

This webinar will be of interest to public library directors, managers, trustees and commissioners, as well as library educators.