Emerging Leaders Team Seeking States to Host Librarians Build Communities
The 2012 Emerging Leaders Team G is exploring ways to transform and extend the former American Library Association (ALA) annual volunteer service day, Libraries Build Communities, into Librarians Build Communities.
The 2012 Emerging Leaders Team G is exploring ways to transform and extend the former American Library Association (ALA) annual volunteer service day, Libraries Build Communities, into Librarians Build Communities (LBC). The newly named and purposed LBC, which will replace the annual volunteer event at ALA, would provide libraries and other community organizations with librarian-volunteers all year round.
Team G envisions Librarians Build Communities as a national volunteer program that connects librarians and library staff interested in volunteering with community organizations in need of their specialized skill sets. This is vital in times when organizations providing key services and resources to their communities lack funding and staff.
“LBC fosters opportunities for librarians to give back to their communities and to interact with their patrons and future patrons outside the library space, while also increasing awareness of the specialized skills and knowledge that librarians possess,” members of 2012 Emerging Leaders Team G said.
“If people see librarians volunteering outside the context of libraries, working with technology, teaching, or performing other tasks rarely associated with librarians, hopefully communities will not only abandon their outdated assumptions about librarians but also view librarians as valuable and irreplaceable assets,” they emphasized.
So far, EL Team G suggests the following model for hosting LBC. For ALA Chapters, a relatively easy way to get started at the local, state, or regional level would be to hold a volunteer day in conjunction with a state or local library conference:
- Identify community organizations, non-profits, and libraries in need of volunteers with librarian skill sets;
- Solicit volunteers from among conference attendees and local libraries;
- Depending on the size of the group, the conference organizers might need to arrange transportation, food, T-shirts, or other amenities for volunteers; and
- Organizers would also want to take photos of the volunteer effort and solicit stories to go in the LBC blog, Chapter websites and newsletters, both to recognize volunteers after the event, and to keep the momentum of the event going after each conference.
If you would like to host LBC in your area, please visit the official Librarians Build Communities website. EL Team G is comprised of 2012 emerging leaders Ingrid Abrams, Erin Davis, Eboni Dickerson, Jeffery Loo, and Coral Sheldon-Hess; Member Guides Easter DiGangi and Gina Persichini; and Don Wood, ALA staff liaison.
For more information about Librarians Build Communities and EL Team G, contact EL Team G.
— This article was written by Ingrid Abrams, Erin Davis, Eboni Dickerson, Jeffery Loo, and Coral Sheldon-Hess, the emerging leaders of Team G.