Demystifying community librarianship

October 27, 2014

Tagged with: Working with communities

As the author Kelly Sirett says, "... when I learned about the approach of community-led librarianship, it seemed like the most logical approach for public libraries to take in serving their users. What I did not realize was how complex and varied the approaches to community librarianship are."

This paper is A review and synthesis of scholarly and professional literature on community librarianship (its subtitle), and aims to define "the notion of community librarianship through an examination of the historical and social context, an analysis of the roles that libraries have held in their communities, an investigation of the public library’s relationship to social justice, by outlining three approaches to community librarianship, by distinguishing this model from outreach services, by presenting some of the challenges associated with this approach, and, finally, by outlining the significance of community librarianship for public libraries in the twenty-first century.

To conclude, I would like to introduce a new argument and one that would certainly require further analysis and research. Although the community approach to librarianship was developed within the context of responding to the needs of socially excluded community members in public libraries, I believe that, since it is based on developing an understanding of user’s needs through relationship building, this model has the potential to support all types of libraries and library workers in better serving all of their existing and potential library users." (Kelly Sirett.

Demystifying community librarianship, 2014)

Demystifying community librarianship