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Outreach

November 8, 2011

I feel like I’m doing a series on library definitions.

Outreach is, like, uh, when you do library stuff but not at the library, or something.  IDK.  Hold on, let me see if I can find a definition from grad school.

The process of identifying and providing services to constituencies with needs relevant to the repository’s mission, especially underserved groups, and tailoring services to meet those needs.”

There, I found something.  Hey, I found something else: “organized activities …intended to acquaint potential users with their holdings and their research and reference values.”

Oh, here we go: “Outreach activities may include exhibits, workshops, publications, and educational programs, tours, and presentations, both inside and outside the [facility].”  Okay, so the definition’s from my archives lectures, but the point is made.  Outreach is when I get library information to people in non-everyday ways, I guess.

For example, I do a combination tour/study session with the advanced third grade class every year.  This gives them a chance to tour the library and also do research for a project without necessarily having cards.

I also went to several Back to School Nights with library freebies, information, and even card sign-ups.  I don’t think anyone ever showed up to get their card, but hey, I tried.  I have to say, I enjoyed running the table but it’s not really the kind of thing you can just kind of do and do well with, because the parents and teachers and administrators are on such a busy schedule.  I felt I got more across when I gave a little speech.

I also recently went to the Goddard School and talked to the kids about librarianship, including reading them a couple of stories, one fiction about the care of books, one non-fiction about what librarians do.

Tomorrow, I’ll be doing something new (to me).  I’ll be going to a teacher in-service and talking to the school librarians.

I’ve been so busy at work, and then during and after that, so sick that I have only a general outline of what I’m doing tomorrow.  I’m only there for an hour (although I know I could come up with stuff for the whole day), and I’m giving some serious thought to blowing off the rest of the day, since I’m not the shift leader at any point and I am still pretty darn sick.  I’m getting blood work done Thursday morning so hopefully after that, my doctor will stop saying things like “All of these things don’t add up to one problem.”

WE WILL FIND *ALL* THE PROBLEMS!

But yeah, I was really excited about tomorrow until the whole sickness thing came.  I’m sad I only get an hour, but honestly, if all I do in that hour is get the librarians to remember there’s a library down the street where the kids can go, I’ll feel like I’ve done my job.  I cannot believe how many kids never come into the library, how many parents from the Back to School Night that I’d never seen before.  It’s just so sad.  We have so many things.

They say that the people who don’t come into the library are the very rich and the very poor but I gotta tell you, it’s really “the very almost everyone.”

It’s disappointing.

I mean, come on, people, we have movies!

Thus ends your ramble-y sick girl entry of the day.  Tomorrow: RECAP.

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