Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘outreach

When I was doing outreach for my previous library, one of my duties was editing the library’s newsletter. I believe that newsletter stopped being published after I left, in spite of having been around long before I had arrived there, but the administration sort of had been hinting it wanted to let it go. A pity, as I think it not only served as a publicity and marketing tool, but also served for documentation. Anyhow, not my problem anymore. Back then, I had pulled aside these articles to read up more on the topic of newsletters to help me improve ours and learn more. Eventually I moved on to my current position, and this post lingered in my drafts folder for quite a while. These days, my library has a blog I created for them, and it is a tool we are working on developing further; it also serves a bit as our newsletter. Writing about that may be a post for another day. In the meantime, here is the stuff to look over.

Some notes:

This is sort of a webliography or list of items I have recently seen on the topics of online social media, library marketing, outreach, and related concepts. This is mostly for personal reference. Some of the posts are from Librarian Blogsville, but a few others come from other places outside librarianship.

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I saw this post out of the Programming Librarian blog, and it was something I wanted to jot down. It's basically some brief notes on some ALA Conference session on library programming. To be honest, if I had gone to ALA, this may have been a good program for me, mostly to hear what other librarians are doing. When I think about it, there are not that many blogs and librarians writing about the programs that they do. If there, I have not found them, and it is not for lack of trying. Sure, there are library blogs that announce programs, mostly public libraries, but something a bit more reflective seems to be lacking.

At any rate, since I am in the middle of writing a marketing plan for our library (an ongoing project of mine that gets constantly interrupted), I thought the list of things to consider was a good one. I do keep one or two of these in mind, but the reminder is good. The list:

The panelists discussed five things programming librarians needed to consider:

  1. your audience (i.e., book groups);
  2. community hooks (i.e., firefighters);
  3. national tie-ins (i.e., National Novel Writing Month);
  4. current events (i.e., energy conservation); and
  5. thinking outside the box and the library (i.e., community festivals or farmers markets).

We have done some pretty good things here at my library, but I know we could be doing a lot more. I am specially thinking in terms of thinking outside the box, so to speak.

(Update note, 7/2/2010): Another post from Programming Librarian, this one with hints and advice for us who do outreach

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(Crossposted from my professional blog, The Gypsy Librarian).

I bet my four readers at The Gypsy Librarian were expecting the next installment in my small series on blogging mistakes and library blogs (first installment here). I am taking a break today to highlight a very important issue as well as let my four readers know about some of the good work going on in my campus. Ok, this is kind of to let people know where I was last night too. The series will resume next Friday.

* * * * * * * * *

 

October has a few observances associated with it. One of those observances is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (link to President Obama's proclamation). Last night I attended a candlelight vigil held on our campus to recognize the issue of domestic violence and to educate people. The event took place at 7:00pm last night in the fourth floor meeting room of the library. They were going to do it outdoors, but the weather did not cooperate. Nevertheless the event was successful, and from a quick glance, I think we had about 50 people or so. We did get some representatives from our campus police, a very strong Greek presence (ladies and gents), and some students. I was the only representative of the library present. The room's lights were down, and the room was lit with candles. At the entrance, there was a display with educational materials.

The event started with an opening statement by Ms. Samantha Dwight, who among her many hats has done work for the Campus Assault Response Effort (CARE) and is an educator/facilitator/presenter extraordinaire on this and other gender issues. She does a bit of everything, so if she reads this I apologize in advance if I can't quite "put her in a slot." At any rate, she read a statement, including a recognition of the important role that law enforcement officers have in domestic violence prevention. Those men and women in uniform when they get a call never know what they may be walking into. So our thanks go to them.

Next, the ladies of Alpha Chi Omega took the stage and did a dramatic reading. Members of the sorority took turns reading statistics and facts related to domestic violence in the nation. This had a moving effect on the crowd, and we learned a thing or two in the process. The last member on stage sang a song.

The activity would come to an end as a prayer was said for the victims as well as those involved in caring for them as well as for us all. And silently the event closed.

Whenever possible, I think it is important for me to attend events like this. In my role as outreach librarian, this is another way for me to reach out to our campus community, another way for the library to say present and that we support the cause. Personally, I just think this is important and needs to be supported. We have a long way to go in educating people, and events like this are a way to do it.

I would like to wrap this up by offering some links and resources that I hope people will find useful. Please, if you happen to be a victim, or you know someone who is, know that there is help out there. Some of the links will include phone numbers and contacts. On our campus here, the folks at C.A.R.E. are one such resource. Need more information, and you are local, you can contact them, or you can contact me, and I will refer you to the right place or find you the information you may need.

The resources then:

  • The Domestic Violence Awareness Project. These are the folks who promote and maintain activities for the observance, which started as an awareness "Day of Unity" back in October of 1981. The Project is coordinated by the National Center on Domestic Violence. You can learn about campaigns, find educational materials, and get links, and phone numbers if you need help. Of course, if you are in imminent danger, dial 911.
  • The National Coalition on Against Domestic Violence. Among the things this organization does, "the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, started the Remember My Name project in 1994 to create a national registry of names of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Since then, NCADV has continued to collect information on incidents of people who have been killed by an intimate partner and produces a poster each year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month listing the names of those submitted to the project. To date, over 7,753 people have been memorialized through the project." Names are added daily to the list, which you can view on the website.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has an Office on Violence Against Women. In addition to listing national hotlines, the site contains a lot of good information, including statistics.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a handbook on domestic violence awareness. This seems geared to employers so they can be supportive in the workplace. Provides some good information.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The number is 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Their contact form can also be used to get assistance if you prefer, though they encourage calling more. You can also find some information on the site.
  • The National Youth Violence Prevention Center also has resources related to the observance here. Yes, it is not just spouses or significant others; children and youths in families where an abusive situation exists suffer too.
  • The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is also a good resource.
  • In Texas, the Attorney General has some resources here. A bit more geared to sexual assault, but still good information.
  • There is also a Texas Council on Family Violence.
  • Locally, you have the good folks of the East Texas Crisis Center. If you need help locally, this is a place to go.

This small list is certainly not comprehensive. I have tried to put out some resources that I have looked over and seem to provide good information. Readers are invited to comment, respond, and if they have other suggestions for links, add in the comments as well.

And yes, I tagged the post under "celebrations and holidays." It is not because I think domestic violence is to be celebrated; it is not. But this is also about a monthly observance, which is what I use the tag for. Just to be clear.

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The observance ends on October 15, but clearly there is still a lot of work to do in the Latino community to get ahead, if some of these stories are any indication. While I think that the observance is important, we should not just focus on all the positives. As a community, we need to also look at what more needs to be done.

And under other links that I want to highlight. These are additional links I wanted to highlight in a post for the library blog, but sadly, I ran out of time to organize and make a post. So consider this a sort of

  • The Pura Belpre Award. "The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth" (from the ALA Website).
  • And here is the Americas Book Award. It is "given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States." The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).
  • A cool resource from the Library of Congress's American Memory Project: Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B Rael Collection.  It documents "religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado." 

Overall, I found some very interesting things this year, and I wish I would have had a bit more time to share them with folks. Oh well, there is always next year.

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I finally managed to put up our display for Hispanic Heritage Month in our library. We are fortunate because we got a nice traveling exhibit from Humanities Texas, which I put up after the crates arrived, with a little help from a most helpful colleague. Anyhow, I also created a book display, which goes along with the traveling display and also helps highlight the observance. I hope to get a post with some links and resources to post on our library blog, but I have a bunch of other things going on. Thus I am making this post with some links and notes, so I can draw from it later. If anyone finds this useful, feel free to link or make your own notes as well.

  • From the Pew Hispanic Center, a report on "Hispanics, Health Insurance, and Health Care Access." This struck me as interesting and relevant. I did not want to post about it in the library blog until I had time to read it over. I do trust Pew as a source, but knowing the local politics, I better read it before I post it over there. H/T to Docuticker.
  • From President Obama's White House blog, "Todos Somos Americanos," notes on the President's remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. You can get a link to the actual remarks and some photos. Actually, the President's blog is a pretty good resource to see what the President is doing, and it is informative as well. One of the nicer government 2.0 initiatives. Also from the blog, the text of the Presidential Proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month, in Spanish. Here is the English version. I used the English version on the display, but I did not find the Spanish one right away. I am going to see if I can print it, make it look nice, and add it in.
  • Database and reference works provider Gale has some resources for Hispanic Heritage Month here
  • The Law Library of Congress has a guide of resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month over here
  • The Census Bureau has their fact sheet for the observance here. I used some of the facts on the sheet to go with my book display at the library.
  • From NASA, the Latina Women of NASA. It does sound like some Playboy pictorial, but it is actually a nice set of links with Latina astronauts as well as other Latinas working at NASA. Good for inspirational material.
  • Here is a page from the Smithsonian's Education Portal for Hispanic Heritage Month. 
  • If you want a reading list, the Florida Department of Education has a small list of recommended readings by grade level
  • The National Park Service has a page for the month as well here
  • PBS has a page listing programming related to the observance here. As the jingle goes, "check your local listings." 

A sampling of what some universities are doing. I did a search on our own university website, and there was absolutely no reference to any event or even recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month on the campus website. The only references are what the library is doing, and you can find it on our blog, which is linked in our website. Otherwise, it is pretty much as if the observance did not exist, which, given this is Texas, which has a pretty big Latino population, you would think someone would notice. At least here at the library, we (mostly me) did our part. But I wanted to look around and see what other universities might be doing. This is a sampling of what I found doing a quick Google search limited to .edu domains:

If nothing else, these lists give me some ideas of things to work on for the future. I have to keep reminding myself that Rome was not built in a day.
 

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These are some links I am finding related to Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month. Some I will use for display materials, and others I will highlight in a blog post for the library. This here is just a holding space for all the items, i.e. for reference purposes. However, if anyone finds them useful, take a look as well.

Update note (5/11/09): Some additional links:

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