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Outreach was another major theme of the presentations I attended at the 2018 library conference in my state. Without further ado, the highlights of those breakout sessions:
The second presentation I attended at the conference focuses on library outreach in the community. This was presented by another larger library system. Besides the traditional deliver of books to those who are homebound, this library figured out an array of programs to take on the road. They have placed deposit collections in care facilities and do lobby stops when they take trucks of books to care facilities. They also take a plethora of programming to the facilities. These include the traditional book discussion groups and adult reading programs. Another they offer are reminiscence programs that allow those who are older and with memory issues to focus on multisensory items to evoke memories. Creative Storytelling, where the librarians take a prompt and accompanying photos and have the patrons describe everything and make up stories, is another. They also will do storytimes for adults with developmental disabilities.
On the conference’s second day, I attended two outreach-based presentations back-to-back. The first dealt with serving underserved populations, something my talking book and braille library definitely does. The facilitator presented an eleven-step plan of action for libraries to follow to bring these groups into its fold. This includes things like being aware of potential service barriers, focusing on differences over disabilities, partnering with relevant agencies, providing inclusive programming, and more. The presenter also reminds that staff attitude is key to ensuring success in this goal.
The other presentation that day focuses on the idea of using personas to help in promoting the library. The idea behind this is to interview people in the desired population group and create 4-5 composites based on those. Then when thinking about programming, outreach, and goals to keep those in mind and help tailor things to those personas. Of course, the presenters went into great detail about how to do the interviews and create the personas, which I will not recount here.
Has your library or institutions tried any of these ideas? If so, what were the results? Would you have any suggestions?
For the next post in the series, all of the other highlights.
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