KLA 2012: Connecting with Your Community

How to Stay Alive!  With Roxanne Belcher and Leslie Nord from Johnson County Library.  Inspired by the Atlas of New Librarianship by R. David Lankes.

Frightened?  Why? We are in the Knowledge Business, not the book business. Newspapers are also having to adapt, we can do it too.   Change from Collection to Community.  We provide SERVICES…not products.

Need to overcome tough stereotypes – need to think of us as BOLD, BRAVE and RELEVANT.  Skills for adaptation are crucial.  We overcame computers, and book stores (and Borders is gone, but we aren’t).  Research Bar out of an unused space at Marbolo college.

Community Connections – start at the City’s Web site…youth initiatives, festivals, planning initiatives, Chamber Web site to connect with local business and info about employers and job opportunities.  Explore partnerships and present at a meeting!  State Library’s resources and community statistics – Resources for Kansas link.

Community dreams – Talk with Associations, institutions or individuals.

How can we change the world?

  • Community Builders – Improve quality of live (job hunting), local business support and green solutions
  • Centers for Divers Populations – Growing immigrant populations and foreign language speakers. Also the developmentally disabled have needs that libraries can help with – job options (library coffee shop).  JOCO center provides pencils and bookmarks for the library.  Criminal justice /detention center book clubs.
  • Centers for the arts – museum passes, art contests, festivals, book clubs, local artists and authors
  • Universities – Education is expensive and libraries provide free opportunities.  Databases (learning Express and Mango languages), Digital literacy (via computer classes and searching classes), homework help and current issues.  Election-themed programming in this Election year.
  • Champions of youth – Johnson County’s 6 by 6.  Early literacy and child development through teen years. Teen advisory Boards and volunteer oops to provide work skills.  Coordinate visits to the public library by the school kids, to encourage family use.

Frontline Advocacy

  • Officials support libraries if you explain how we are helping your community – Hospital helps keep the body healthy and the Library keeps the mind healthy.
  • Skip the stats – People respond to stories and EMOTION
  • Google KLA Advocacy – great resources (go Gail!) and Advocacy University on ALA site




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