Patron Review: Transforming Libraries, Building Communities: The Community-Centered Library

transformingTranforming Libraries, Building Communities: The Community-Centered Library by Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Robinson, and Kelley Rae Unger – Foreword by Kathleen De La Pena McCook

Reviewed by Kim

Given that more and more libraries , not just in the U.S., but other countries as well, are either closing or having their hours drastically reduced, it is essential that they look to other ways of staying relevant.  Edwards, Robinson, and Unger do this in a very easy to read and appealing style. The book is divided into three sections. Part I: The What and Whys of Community-Centered Libraries. Part II: How to Create Community-Centered Libraries. Part III: Inspiration for Community Centered Libraries. Each section gives numerous examples of how different libraries have not only maintained their leadership as institutions of learning, but have added programs and services whether they’re geared to those in need of housing and jobs, the homeless and disabled, the LGBT community, or teens, which not only draw them to the library but make them feel like valued members of their community. Many libraries do this by forming partnerships with not only community and business leaders, but even some of their own patrons such as local artists, craftspeople, and teens. Indeed, collaboration is the prevailing theme throughout the book which is especially important given that libraries often lack the funds for extras. This is a must read for anyone who is involved with their local library. Whether you’re a community or business leader, or a patron who wishes to get more involved and volunteer, you will find not only useful, but inspirational ideas.

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