Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’
Back from sunny Crimea to rainy Kyiv now, but with great impressions of the Young Library Leaders’ School.
The last day of the School was dedicated to trainings on strategic planning / advocacy and monitoring and evaluation of library work. The librarians practiced their skills creating strategies for library development in small and large groups. One important point was defining advocacy targets: being very specific and not addressing a Ministry, for instance, with a particular request if decision makers of that concrete issue are regional or local politicians.
Topics discussed at the monitoring training were differences between monitoring and evaluation, criteria of efficient library work (combination of qualitative and quantitate indicators), and the importance of clear understanding of an evaluation scale.
At the closing session the librarians expressed their gratitude and stated that they were full of ideas and eagerness to start designing and implementing projects upon returning to their libraries. The first step will be holding a similar training on leadership, proposal writing, strategic planning, and advocacy in their respective libraries. Yaroslava Tytarenko, Bibliomist Capacity Development Coordinator, suggested to practice proposal writing skills and apply for Bibliomist Public Access Contest and Community Development Contest (CPC) and to keep in touch with the help of social networks.
And one of the long-term strategic goals defined by this group was to meet again at the next Young Library Leaders’ School. As we know, when leaders set a goal, they never give up!
We are happy to greet you from the sunny Crimea! This is where Young Library Leaders School is taking place. The event was organized as part of a cooperative agreement between Bibliomist-Crimea and Bibliomist-Lviv.
The event opening took place in the Crimea Republican I.Franko Universal Scientific Library, Simrefopol and then the librarians moved to Alushta, where the main part of the Leaders School is taking place. The librarians participated in a series of trainings on leadership, strategic planning, advocacy, grant proposal writing, assessment of community needs, effective presentations and social media held by Bibliomist staff, a Ukrainian Library Association (ULA) representative, and invited trainers.
At the training on leadership the participants practised “sincere listening” to colleagues in order to correctly interpret messages, avoid bias, and get rid of a “nothing depends on me” position. At the grant proposal writing session the participants learned about the main elements of a proposal, learned to understand a donor’s specific requirements, define a problem, set a goal, objectives, and methods of solving the problem.
Problems identified by librarians are lack of funding for non-librarians working at libraries (IT specialists, sociologists, psychologists) under current legislation, introduction of paid services, lack of funding for library buildings renovation. At the training on advocacy and strategic planning the participants learned to define an advocacy “target,” identify partners, allies, opponents and draft an advocacy plan in order to solve the defined problems.
The librarians mentioned an interesting advocacy example of a library that, after repeated attempts to contact a politician who had promised funding for a library building renovation, posted “Deputy Promised, but Did not Fulfill” and “Think Who You Choose” posters in its hall and stated that thus the politician had lost 21 thousand votes (7,000 of library users x 3). As a result, the politician provided the necessary funding.
The bottom line defined by the participants is that many library innovations are risky, but if librarians never try to change the situation, the change will never come about.
Lviv and Crimea librarians, representatives of the West and East of Ukraine, traditionally divided by language (Ukrainian and Russian respectively) differences got along perfectly well with each other, participated in mixed groups work and effectively communicated. One of the best indicators of training success is that participants were too carried away with training activities to come up to organizers for travel reimbursements!
One more day of trainings is ahead of us and we do hope to keep the spirit up, we will keep you posted!
When schoolteacher Tetyana Nishkur was laid off in 2005 after 33 years of service, she had difficulty finding a new job. With the help of the local public library, she learned to write a business plan and started a business renting kayaks and leading tours. Today the business is thriving, and the internet access provided by the library has become an essential part of her life.
Another great library awareness video from Ukraine.
I came across an article from Public Management Magazine (via @US_IMLS) that talks about how libraries can be used beyond their traditional roles to address civic issues. The article, “Public Libraries Daring to be Different,” includes examples of libraries partnering with court systems to reduce gang violence, testing green technologies, and preparing citizens for emergency response in the event of natural disasters.
The best thing about this article is that it’s not in a library publication. PM is explicitly for city and town officials. According to their website, “PM is dedicated exclusively to the public sector practitioner. Designed for quick and informative reading, articles deal with issues of common concern to local government managers.”
Every now and again the library community has a discussion about how we’re caught up in an echo chamber and we can’t seem to get our message outside of our own circles. Success!
In our own projects in Romania and Ukraine, a big piece of our work is changing the perception of public libraries, both by supporting the efforts of our in-country partners and by using our own voice as an organization heavily invested in the public library sector. This article got me thinking about strategies for reaching out to government officials – what are the best ways to leverage success stories, and who are the best people to convey that message? And, most importantly, how can we ensure that this way of thinking becomes embedded in the library community so we don’t relapse into the echo chamber?
As part of our work in Ukraine and Romania we hope to create new perceptions about what it means to do library work, both among librarians and the general population. As part of that effort, we’re highlighting some librarians who don’t fit in to the usual librarian stereotype. Take a look at this video about Nataliya Miroshnychenko, a librarian and avid blogger from Kherson, Ukraine.
I’m thinking about how MobileActive’s post Interactive Texts Involve You in Public Spaces applies to libraryland.
The post highlights three projects that invite observers and passers-by to stop and engage with the physical world by responding to a prompt via SMS. I particularly like the first highlighted project, Txtual Healing, which “is about contextualizing user generated story telling, whether in public space or as an indoor installation.” Speech bubbles are projected on a wall (or ceiling, or whatever), and people can send a text message that will be projected in a bubble. This was actually done in Romania back in 2007.
Think of this in a library – you could project it outside or inside the building, and you could come up with a different prompt every day or every week. “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for: _______.” “I wish everyone knew about _______.” “What’s your favorite book?” OK, the last one is cliched and obvious. But you get the idea – boundless possibilities.
There are so many reasons I love this – the library and patrons are having a conversation, patrons and other patrons are having conversations, and it draws the physical and virtual spaces closer together. This could easily be tied into the library’s twitter feed. Talk about hyper-local.
Bibliomist – the Global Libraries program in Ukraine – is getting ready to welcome its first libraries.
The regions to be included in Bibliomist’s incubator stage were chosen in February. In each oblast (province), one raion (county) was selected, with 15 computers to be distributed as the raion library indicated. 25 raions (one per oblast) were selected through a competitive process to which 180 raions applied. Most winning raions chose to distribute those computers between 3-5 libraries. After training for librarians, these libraries will receive their equipment this summer. More libraries will be brought into the program in the fall, and the program total will include more than 1000 by 2013.