Saturday, 25 February 2012

Relationship Advice

I'm afraid it's not that sort!  I have been intending to write a blog post for about a week but struggling with a topic.  Today I trekked to Petit Library to pick up a DVD that was on hold for me and I ended up having a great conversation with one of the librarians.  On my trek home, in between taking pictures of the snow and snow mobiles, I decided that what she had said had inspired me to blog so here goes.

Exciting snow mobile...man probably didn't appreciate me taking a photo of him
As the regular readers of my blog will know, I have been involved with the Syracuse Little Free Library Project and I am happy to tell you that it is going very well - there are over 120 books in circulation from the first one alone and we are planning the next two libraries in the Near Westside already.  During my conversation today, which progressed from my enquiry regarding their library garden project to the role of modern libraries, the librarian expressed the opinion that Petit should become a 'community hub' since information does not just come from books any more.  I brought up the Little Free Libraries Project and she was thrilled to hear how successful it was, especially because children in that area have difficulty using the library due to holds on their or their parents' accounts.

This recent article on phone booths in NYC being turned into little libraries and James Econs' 'phonebox' in Kingston, London slotted into our discussion well and the topic of community involvement was brought up.  I explained that a main focus of the LFL project had been to get the community involved from the start and to ensure that they had a vested interest in the finished library.  We have gone some way to ensuring this with the community steward and book plates to show by whom they were donated.

Inside of the 'phonebox' (image from here)
The librarian was at pains to emphasise the importance of relationships in her experiences within and outwith libraries.  If people feel that they are borrowing books from a community-organised project then they will be more likely to participate than if it was associated with a larger institution.  It is necessary to build relationships wherever we are and whatever we are doing, you never know how beneficial they will be.  It is by bridging the gaps in society with communication that we can improve the communities in which we live and there are many ways in which libraries can assist in this process from St Patrick's Day craft activities to Little Free Libraries to reading gardens.  It was encouraging to chat with a librarian so in tune with what we are studying at Library School and I am heartened that what I am learning will be perfectly applicable in the field.

And in other news...

Book clutches by Olympia Le Tan (image from here)

My Mum sent me a newspaper article about these cute clutches, which are currently taking the red carpet by storm.  If only I had a spare £1,400....

3 comments:

  1. Love those little libraries! Have you seen these little masterpieces?
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/ditafelici?ref=si_shop

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  2. No I hadn't, they are lovely! Have you seen http://literarygiftcompany.com/ This is where I get a lot of my presents from for friends who are librarians or into reading.

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  3. Your design of the blog is really eye-catching,I like the way you write. Awesome, keep it up.

    Relationship Advice

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