Library For All! Essay

This book is for community leaders. bibliothecs. library commissions. voluntaries. assistance workers and others who are interested in the practical facet of get downing and keeping a successful library. Throughout the underdeveloped universe. countless dedicated people respond to the pressing demand for information in their communities by assisting to get down a library. They frequently have no formal preparation in library scientific discipline and overcome tremendous troubles to set up aggregations of resources that enrich their communities. This is a practical usher to assist communities run into the challenges of puting up and running a library.

It was inspired by my ain experiences puting up a library with a community in West Africa and shaped by letters from 100s of other assistance workers and community bibliothecs from around the Earth. First-hand experience with the defeats. challenges and wagess of puting up a library has given me a deep sense of regard for and solidarity with community bibliothecs confronting similar challenges. Like many of them. I am non a librarian by preparation and had to be really resourceful in seeking aid and advice. which I have been fortunate to have from many people and administrations.

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This book was made possible by funding from UNESCO within the model of the UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries ( UNAL ) . which is dedicated to advancing international co-operation and apprehension between libraries ( see the Resource Guide at the dorsum of this book for more information about UNAL ) . I would wish to thank Joie Springer. Coordinator of UNAL. for her priceless aid during this undertaking. The book was written at the World Library Partnership ( WLP ) central office with much support and counsel from the board of managers.

I would wish to give particular thanks to WLP President Peggy Hull for reexamining several versions of the manuscript. To guarantee that the information in this book has the widest possible relevancy. it has been reviewed and field tested in 11 states. I would wish to thank the undermentioned referees for their insightful remarks: Dr. Kingo Mchombu of the University of Namibia. Margaret Myers. U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer working with the National Library Service of Botswana. Carol Priestley of INASP ( see Bibliography ) and assorted staff of UNESCO’s Division of Information and Informatics.

I besides want to show my sincere gratitude to Gail Wadsworth for her ongoing mentoring throughout this and many other undertakings. Her extended remarks in ruddy ink helped me to develop many of the book’s finer points. The undermentioned field examiners provided critical feedback from the book’s mark audience: Midekeasa Degaga. Christopher Frederick. Sister Frances Kersjes. Roberta Overman. Pheny Birungi and Sam Werberger. I would besides wish to thank Norbert Adewuho for the honor of working with him on the Yikpa Community Library undertaking.

Finally. thank you to my hubby for his loving support and adept redaction. How to Use This Book The debut to this manual focuses on specific issues that the community and the library laminitis ( s ) need to turn to before set uping a library. The 2nd and 3rd subdivisions focus on set uping and pull offing a library. Each subdivision is divided into several parts. There is a list of “action steps” at the terminal of each portion sum uping what needs to be done at each phase of planning and running a library. It is best to read through the full manual once before transporting out the action stairss for each portion.

It may be helpful to put a mark day of the month for finishing each action measure and do a list of who is responsible for each undertaking. At the dorsum of this book. there is a Resource Guide naming programmes that can help communities. library commissions and bibliothecs to transport out the action stairss and pull off their libraries. Mentions in the text point readers to subdivisions of the Resource Guide that are peculiarly relevant for each portion of the manual. Although most proficient footings are explained in the text. there is a list of cardinal words at the terminal of the manual instantly predating the Resource Guide. Laura Wendell.

The World Library Partnership [ electronic mail protected ]duke. edu hypertext transfer protocol: //RTPnet. org/~wlp Introduction: Does your Community Really Necessitate a Library? Those of you working in established libraries may be tempted to jump this subdivision. However. if you are holding jobs with community support and engagement. you might happen some good thoughts here ( and under Community Involvement below ) . This chapter can assist you rethink your library service. and if necessary. do programs to alter it or even close it down. How can those of you who are believing about set uping a library decide if your community truly needs one?

You can get down by doing a list of the information resources already available in your community. Your list might include newspapers. wireless. community Centres. or telecasting. Peoples are besides great resources and your list should include people who provide the community with information. They could be taxi drivers or merchandisers who bring in intelligence from other towns. nurses. druggists. older community members. extension agents. successful husbandmans. spiritual leaders. therapists or anyone whose sentiments are by and large respected. Ask community members who they go to with inquiries about wellness. agribusiness. run uping. kid attention or household jobs.

The replies may differ for older and younger people. work forces and adult females. and/or richer and poorer people. Remember that people with different educational. cultural and spiritual backgrounds may besides travel to different people for aid and advice. Be certain to speak with a assortment of people to acquire a complete image of the information resources in your community. Your community information resource list could be the first point for the new library! The following measure is to happen out if the information resources you have discovered are run intoing the community’s needs.

If people are by and large satisfied with the information available to them. they may non see the point of a library. Often. nevertheless. people do desire and necessitate extra information that they can non acquire from the bing resources. Sometimes they want specialised information. such as the programs for a composting latrine or a solar nutrient desiccant. or specific information. such as the books required by an official school course of study. They may besides desire entertaining books about other people. topographic points and times ( see the list of the advantages of a library below ) .

Some people may desire new information resources because they feel excluded from the bing 1s. For illustration. adult females may experience excluded from larning about current personal businesss if work forces gather to listen to the intelligence on the wireless while adult females are busy fixing repasts. Person who can non afford a newspaper might besides experience excluded. A library can do information available to everyone. If there are people in your community who want information that they can non presently acquire. so a library could be a great manner to run into their demands.

Some of these people could be kids who need storybooks. literacy pupils who need basic reading stuff. extension agents or professionals who need proficient information. or pupils and instructors who need text editions. Once you have determined that people in your community want and need more information. the following measure is to do certain that they understand what a library is. how it works and how it can profit them. Peoples who have ne’er used a library may non cognize all the ways it could assist them to acquire the information they need. Some people may be confused about the difference between a library and a bookstore.

Others may believe that library books belong to the bibliothec. non the community. and/or that they can merely be used by certain people. such as instructors or professionals. You may necessitate to explicate the thought of adoption and returning books ( see Making the Rules below ) or other facets of how the library plants. Your first measure in educating the community about the library could be to discourse it with some of the people it will profit most straight. such as pupils. instructors. literacy categories and professionals. Many of them may hold used a library at their school. bureau or in another town.

Those who have non may be speedy to encompass the thought one time you explain it to them. Ask them to assist you advance the library by speaking to parents. friends and co-workers about the thought. If your community has a development commission. or other group that handles determinations about what undertakings get done in the community. be certain to speak to them about the library right from the start. You will necessitate their aid. The library will vie with other undertakings for infinite. money. clip and resources. If the people who decide how those resources are used do non back up the library. you will hold a really difficult clip finishing the undertaking.

One good manner to show what a library is and construct community support for the undertaking is to make a public show. Get together a few interesting books ( you may even be able to borrow some from community members or bookstores ) and expose them on a shelf in a local store. church. schoolroom or other public infinite. Ask the individual responsible for that infinite to indicate out the books to people. You can post information about the proposed library near the books with a note to reach you for more information. When people ask what the books are for. explicate that these are samples of books they might happen in a library.

Travel on to explicate that a library is a topographic point where people can happen books that will assist them with their surveies or occupations. or to read for amusement. The books in a library are non for sale ; they belong to the community and people either read them in the library or borrow them to read at place. After most people have had a opportunity to look at the books. name a meeting to acquire the community involved in be aftering the library. Ask several people to assist you form the meeting and/or portion their ideas about the undertaking. It is of import that the community thinks of the library as “our project” non as “your undertaking.

” Involving others right from the beginning is the best manner to do this happen. At the meeting. start by explicating that the intent of the library is to supply information and services to the community. Even people who have seen the books on show may still be ill-defined about how a library plant. Explain that it is a topographic point where people can read. survey and research. It can besides be a topographic point for categories. narrative stating. interchanging intelligence and other information. Librarians provide services such as aid utilizing the library. replies to proficient inquiries and/or information about occupations. resources and instruction programmes.

Libraries can besides roll up and continue traditional narratives and cognition. Community members may be able to borrow the books to do reading more convenient. You can utilize a skit. vocal. verse form or marionette show to show how a library plant. During your meeting. give illustrations of the information and services the library could offer. If you have found that some people are dissatisfied with the current information resources in the community. or are non able to utilize those resources. be certain to convey that up. Indicate out that the library may be able to function their demands by imparting them books. or through particular programmes.

Stress that a library. like a well. is a shared resource that benefits the whole community. Invite people to discourse how they would utilize the library. the books they would wish and any concerns. inquiries or expostulations they have. Here are some of the advantages of a library that you might advert at the meeting: The library will assist pupils make better in school. It will give literacy pupils books to pattern reading. It will convey new information and cognition into the community. It can continue the traditions. narratives. music and thoughts of the community. It will be a quiet topographic point to analyze or keep grownup instruction categories.

It will give extension workers. wellness attention suppliers and other professionals proficient information to assist them make their occupations better. It will be a beginning of amusement. It may take several hebdomads. months or longer to explicate the library to the full community. but your attempts will be good rewarded. Talking with persons and community groups about the library will give you the opportunity to construct consciousness and support for the undertaking and place possible obstructions and jobs. Merely a intelligent community can do a responsible determination about get downing a library.

Taking the clip in the beginning to do certain that as many people as possible know about the undertaking will besides do it easier to publicise the library once it is unfastened. If. after explicating and advancing the library. you find that there is a batch of community support for the undertaking. your following measure is to happen out how high a precedence the library is for the community. So many communities lack running H2O. wellness installations. schools. latrines and other basic demands that many people. even the 1s who truly want more information. might prefer to pass their clip working on these undertakings alternatively of a library.

Make a list of a few undertakings. including the library. and ask people to rank them in order of importance. Different groups within the community may hold different precedences. and it is of import to acquire the sentiments of a broad assortment of people. The manual PACA: Participatory Analysis for Community Action ( see bibliography ) describes several good tools you can utilize to assist groups make a consensus on their precedences and discourse them with other groups. If most people think that other community undertakings are more of import than the library. you might desire to prorogue the undertaking.

Otherwise. you may non be able to acquire the financess and voluntaries you need. A library belongs to and serves the community and will merely be successful with strong community support. If community support for the library is non really great or the cardinal functionaries are against it. there may be good grounds for their concern. Compared to many other undertakings. libraries are a batch of work. Unlike a latrine. which requires merely basic care after it is built. a library requires changeless upkeep. If there are no financess available to engage a librarian. voluntaries must be recruited to run the library ( see Enrolling a

Librarian ) . They may hold to give other activities to make this. School functionaries may non desire their instructors passing valuable clip in the library. Others may fear that the library will turn people off from traditional information beginnings. such as authorities. spiritual and community leaders. New books must be purchased every twelvemonth and the old 1s repaired or people will rapidly lose involvement in the library. This may take financess off from other undertakings. You must look long and difficult at these possible negative effects of constructing the library.

If you can non happen a solution to them. or meet a batch of opposition to the undertaking. you may desire to see options to a traditional library. If you decide that making a true library is non practical. or if you are sing closing an bing library due to miss of support. what can you make? One reply is to administer resources throughout the community. Since the intent of a library is to back up instruction and acquisition. it makes sense to set books in the custodies of the people who are working in these Fieldss.

Alternatively of holding a cardinal library unfastened to the populace. you may desire to make specialised “mini-libraries” throughout the community. For illustration. you might give wellness books to the caput of the clinic. text editions to instructors. spiritual books to the church. etc. You can inquire a local eating house. saloon or shopkeeper if you can set the fiction books on a shelf for their clients to read. Stress that this may better concern. Distributing the library will at least acquire the books off the shelves and into the custodies of a few people.

Another manner to convey books to the community without get downing a formal library is to take part in a book box or nomadic library programme coordinated by a library in another community. In a book box programme. a library lends a community a box of 50 or so books. The community exchanges the box sporadically for a new one. In a nomadic library programme. books are brought to the community by a book cart. new wave. truck. bike or other signifier of transit. This “mobile library” visits the community on a regular basis to impart out and pick up books.

Either of these programmes can be a great manner to acquire information to the community and advance an involvement in reading without get downing a formal library. Action stairss: 1. Find out what information resources your community already has. 2. Find out if people are satisfied with these resources. 3. If possible. form a visit to another successful library. 4. Promote the library by discoursing it with community members and leaders. 5. If desired. make a show to show how the library will profit the community. 6. Keep a community meeting to explicate the advantages of the library and to acquire people’s reactions.

7. Find out how high a precedence the library is for community members in relation to other undertakings. 8. Decide if you have adequate community support to warrant go oning with the library. Making a Library Committee Once you have community support for the library. you will necessitate to organize a library commission to assist you work out a program. The commission should stand for the people the library will function. It could include instructors. pupils. professionals. assistance workers. community leaders. and others who have an involvement in the library.

While it is good to hold some community leaders on the commission because they add credibleness to the undertaking and assist to acquire things done. be certain to besides include pupils. female parents. aged people and others whom you want to promote to utilize the library. They need to hold a voice on the commission to guarantee that their demands will non be overlooked. It is besides a good thought to ask for the people who oppose the library to fall in the commission. or at least to go to the meetings. They may hold valid concerns and their engagement will do the undertaking better.

You should besides see ask foring a authorities functionary to rede or function on the commission. At the really least. you should be cognizant of the authorities ordinances refering libraries and the authorities bureaus that could assist you. If there is a local or regional authorities library service. they may be able to give you funding. preparation. books or other support. particularly if you include them in your programs right from the start. Similarly. authorities bureaus concerned with instruction and publication may be able to assist with resources and preparation.

Sometimes. nevertheless. working with authorities bureaus can do holds and a loss of local control over the undertaking. Be certain to convey up these concerns with any functionaries who get involved and bespeak that the undertaking usage local labor and affect community members whenever possible. If this is non the usual policy. point out that community engagement will do the library more successful and sustainable because people are more likely to utilize and take attention of a library they help to be after and construct. Once the commission is formed. you need to make up one’s mind how you want to construction it.

In most commissions. the members elect officers: president ( sometimes called the president ) . frailty president. secretary and financial officer. The offices may be for one or more old ages. and one of your first undertakings should be to make up one’s mind the length of clip ( term ) of each office. Puting footings makes it possible to honour people who are making a good occupation by re-electing them. and allows people to go forth office gracefully when they no longer wish to function. It besides ensures that the officers change on a regular basis. which gives more people a opportunity to function.

Here are some basic “job descriptions” for the different offices: The President is the main officer of the commission. He or she runs the meetings. decides on the docket and keeps order. The president should do certain that treatments maintain to the point and that everyone has a opportunity to take part. He or she works with the commission to put policies. recruit librarians. do studies and oversee the fundss of the library. The Vice President takes over for the president when he or she is non at that place and does any other responsibilities assigned by the commission. The Secretary keeps notes on what happens at all the meetings.

These should include who was present. what was discussed and any determinations that were made. He or she should be able to compose clearly and sum up treatments. The Treasurer is responsible for the library’s fundss. He or she distributes financess harmonizing to the determinations of the commission and should describe all income or disbursals to the commission ( for more information. see Bookkeeping below ) . This commission construction is slightly stiff. but it has the advantage of clearly specifying duties. It is helpful to hold written descriptions of the different offices so that everyone understands their function.

Your commission can accommodate or spread out the above descriptions as needed. If this commission construction doesn’t work for your community. you can do it more flexible by revolving who runs each meeting and who keeps notes. It is non recommended. nevertheless. to revolve the office of the financial officer because maintaining path of the histories requires consistent attending over clip. If the individual responsible alterations frequently. confusion may ensue and money could be misplaced or mishandled. Regardless of the commission construction you choose. it is wise to hold a set of written guidelines that describe how the commission works.

Sometimes these guidelines are called a fundamental law or bylaws. Their intent is to do certain that the commission does things in a consistent and just manner. Here is a list of things to see when composing the guidelines: How many people should function on the commission? It is all right to give a general scope. such as 12-15. How will members be selected for the commission? Will the whole community elect them or will they be chosen by person? Sometimes. the initial leaders of the library undertaking choose or name the first commission members who so elect other members.

If there are certain people you want to ever be on the commission. like the librarian. caput of the school. president of the community development commission or others. include that in the guidelines. How will determinations be made? Will you try to make a solution everyone agrees on ( a consensus ) or will you discourse different point of views and so vote? Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Deciding by consensus ensures that everyone agrees. but it may take a really long clip. and in some instances. it may non be possible. Voting is speedy. but people on the losing side may experience disgruntled.

How many members of the commission demand to be present at a meeting for a determination to be official? This figure is called a quorum and it is normally at least half the members plus one. It is of import to make up one’s mind this figure because you don’t want merely one or two members to be able to do determinations for the whole commission. Pick a figure that seems sensible. If you require excessively many members to be present. you may ne’er hold adequate to do an official determination. If you require excessively few to be present. a little group may stop up doing all the determinations. Under what fortunes will members be asked to go forth the commission?

For illustration. you might make up one’s mind that people who miss three meetings in a row will be expelled. Finally. how will alter be made to the commission guidelines? These regulations are non meant to be absolute Torahs. Leaving outdated or unpractical regulations in the guidelines can take to statements and confusion. so be certain to hold a process for doing alterations. Establishing a library commission and composing the guidelines are major stairss toward doing the library a success! Having a commission ensures that the library will reflect the demands of the community. and composing guidelines ensures that the commission has clear regulations for action.

Action stairss: 1 Discuss all the different sorts of people the library will function and how you can affect them in the commission. 2 Decide how the commission will be structured and the first members selected. 3 Form the commission. 4 Write “job descriptions” for the officers. 5 Write guidelines for commission action. 6 Select the officers harmonizing to the guidelines. Section One: How do we put up the Library? Each of the undermentioned subdivisions begins with an of import “decision point” for the commission to discourse. This is followed by some thoughts to assist concentrate and steer your treatment.

“Action stairss. ” like those at the terminal of the old subdivisions. sum up what needs to be done by the commission at each phase of puting up a library. Initial Location Decision point: Should we get down out with a new edifice or utilize an bing one? It is wise to get down out by turn uping the library in an bing edifice. It by and large takes at least a twelvemonth to raise money. program and build a edifice. During this clip. people may get down to lose involvement in the undertaking. By get downing little. you can demo people how the library plants and derive their support and assurance before spread outing.

Even a individual shelf in the corner of a schoolroom or store is adequate to acquire started. Choose a topographic point that is easy to happen near the Centre of the community. If possible. turn up the library in a unafraid topographic point ( locks on doors and Windowss or shutters ) . Many topographic points can be good first locations for the library. Shops and eating houses can be great because there is ever person around to look after the books. They besides increase the library’s visibleness in the community. A library in a storage room or office will be quieter and may hold more room. but person will hold to take clip out from other activities to open it. and it may be harder to publicise.

If you choose to turn up the library in a schoolroom. be certain to do it clear to everyone that the books belong to the whole school or community and non merely the instructor who uses the schoolroom. If other activities. such as categories. church services or meetings routinely take topographic point where the library is located. this will cut down the sum of clip that it is unfastened to the populace. However. these activities may assist to raise consciousness of the library. If the infinite you decide on is being rented by person. be certain to acquire permission from the proprietor every bit good as the renter.

If at all possible. take a topographic point with room for ulterior enlargement ( see Expansion below ) . The sum and type of furniture and shelves you will necessitate depends on the location you choose. A store or schoolroom may already hold bookshelves and furniture. A storage room likely will non. For more information about edifices. furniture. equipment and other of import considerations in be aftering your library. see Expansion below. Action stairss: 1. Talk with instructors. spiritual leaders. tradesmans and others about hosting the library. 2. Visit all the possible locations for the library. 3.

Choose the best location. Geting Materials This subdivision discusses what stuffs you need for the library and how to acquire them. Materials can include books. tapes. postings. magazines. booklets newspapers. newssheets. games. learning AIDSs. picture. maps and other points. Since the huge bulk of the stuffs in the library will be books. nevertheless. this subdivision focuses chiefly on them. You can utilize most of the techniques described ( particularly networking ) for roll uping other stuffs as good. Besides see Involving the Community below for suggestions on repackaging and making your ain stuffs.

Decision point: what sort of books do we necessitate? You need to acquire books on topics of involvement to the community. Your first undertaking. therefore. is to happen out what people want to cognize. You may hold already thought about this issue when seeking to make up one’s mind if the community needs a library. Now is the clip to believe about it in more deepness. Since the commission is made up of community members. you can get down out by inquiring yourselves what books should travel in the library. But that is non plenty. You need to travel out into the community and inquire people what books they want.

What are they interested in academically. professionally and personally? Talk to a broad assortment of people and seek to happen possible library users you may hold overlooked. such as people with unwellnesss or disablements. If your library is focused on a subject. such as wellness. or serves a restricted community. such as an simple school. you may be tempted to jump this measure. Don’t. You can truly larn a batch by inquiring people what books they want in the library. For illustration. you might non believe of seting books on animate being attention in a wellness library. but a husbandman might.

Since maintaining the community animate beings healthy can take to better nutrition and sanitation for the people. including those books is a good thought. Some other things you need to see are the reading degrees and linguistic communications of the library users. How many old ages of formal instruction do most people in the community hold? How many of your library users are kids? How many are literacy pupils? How can you promote people who can non read to utilize the library? Can you acquire picture books. books on tape or other stuffs for non-readers? What languages do people in your community speak?

Peoples frequently prefer reading in the “local language” or slang to reading in the national linguistic communication. Some community members may merely speak/read the local linguistic communication. If local linguistic communication stuffs are scarce. the library should see interpreting. repackaging or bring forthing stuffs ( see Involving the Community below ) . Once you have made a list of all the topics. linguistic communications and reading degrees you need. the following measure is to rank them harmonizing to their importance. Since you likely can non acquire every book that person wants or demands. you will hold to make up one’s mind which 1s come foremost.

Start by acquiring general books on the most popular subjects before acquiring more specialised stuffs. This will assist you make a wide aggregation that entreaties to most people. If your library users are mainly pupils. you could get down with a complete set of school text editions. Reference books such as lexicons. Atlass. encyclopedia and farmer’s calendar are expensive. but contain really utile general information. For novels and other fiction. start with children’s books. immature grownup fiction and basic readers before traveling on to progress plants that fewer people can read.

Newspapers and magazines ( besides called periodicals ) are frequently the most popular resources in the library. Be certain to maintain a list of all the suggestions so you can work on make fulling them over clip. You should utilize the information you have gathered to compose a “collection policy” that states the intent of your library. whom it serves and the types of stuffs it collects. Many people may be involved in acquiring books for the library and such a policy will guarantee that everyone knows which stuffs are most of import to roll up. It may besides halt them from accepting unwanted or inappropriate books.

Sharing the policy with book givers will assist them to understand your demands and do more utile contributions. The policy should be reviewed and approved by the whole library commission. You can besides inquire library users and community members to read and notice on it. Remember that it can be changed subsequently on as the library grows. and in fact. it is a good thought to reexamine it every twelvemonth or two. It is peculiarly of import to seek to garner stuffs that contain a assortment of point of views to the extent that this is culturally appropriate.

For illustration. if your library contains a political commentary about the United States that was published by the U. S. authorities. you might besides desire to include commentaries by non-governmental beginnings or people populating in other states to give your users several point of views. Supplying information from a assortment of beginnings is peculiarly of import for spiritual. cultural. political and societal commentaries because these plants sometimes express the point of view of merely one group or person.

These subjects. nevertheless. can be really sensitive. and libraries should happen out if there are any authorities ordinances sing what stuffs they can roll up before they begin seeking contributions. Action stairss: 1. Find out the involvements and reading degrees of the community members the library will function. 2. Decide which books to concentrate on roll uping. 3. Write a aggregation policy depicting what stuffs the library would wish and what stuffs it can non utilize. Include what the library does with contributions that are non suited for the aggregation ( see below ) . Decision point: How can we acquire books?

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