Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blog June Post 9 - Libraries Community Builders

This morning I shared this article on my other jobs FB page.  My other job is marking library student assessments for TAFE.  So I shared the article with students.

Along with the article, I asked the students this: Discussion about public libraries often leads to phrases like community hub etc. Do you think the same applies in academic, special, and school libraries?

The students must be busy people because as yet there have been no replies.  However, I am open for those reading my blog to discuss and perhaps share a comment on FB, twitter or here on the blog comments.

When I used to work in academic libraries, pre-child, the campus was my community.  My coworkers were my community.  Those that used the library were my community.  I put this down to the campus being the main place I was spending my time.

Yes I would do my shopping etc outside of the campus, back in the suburb I lived in.  But I never felt the suburb was my community until I had my daughter, went on maternity leave and started spending more time in my suburb.  I stared interacting with more than the check out person at the grocery store.  I attended the community nurse sessions, baby rhyme time, mother's group and the list goes on.  Suddenly, I was interacting, meeting and becoming friends with people who lived in my own suburb!!  In my community!!

This brings me back to the original question - do academic, special and school libraries build communities?  Or have their own communities?

They all provide spaces for people to gather.  They provide different programs for people to attend as groups or individuals.  But do they build communities and if so what sort of communities?

I will leave this open for some discussion (I hope)!

Today's mantra: Your body deserves the best

In my case lately, my body has been having the best chocolate!! 8-)

5 comments:

  1. I try hard to build community in the units I teach, and we do that successfully online, but it's a lot of work. And I've got a captive audience. I think it's a tough ask for academic libraries to be community hubs these days because even internal students increasingly behave as though they are external students. I remember how much I disliked attempts to build community in my undergrad studies, but now from the other side of the lectern, I see enormous benefit in community. I guess it's like convincing a five year old that in ten years time they'll be wishing they could have a nap instead of protesting it!

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  2. Thanks for your interesting comments, Kate! Yes I see the same in the TAFE course that I teach/mark for. There is isolation as it is online so many students call for some form of networking/conversation with other students - so we have created a FB page. However, it is challenging for the students as they are all at different stages in the courses. Incorporating forum posts into the units helps a bit, but most students complete the activity they need to do without fully engaging with each other. I often advise those struggling to make contact with their closest library (library staff) and build some form of network/community through them. Those that have, have noted positive outcomes.

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