Smallwood, Carol, ed., Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010.
Subgenre: Library Science, Outreach
I think this is a book that every outreach librarian, or any librarian planning to do outreach (or had outreach dumped on his/her lap) needs to have. It is not perfect, but it is pretty close. The editor brings together 37 librarians from a diverse range of libraries and settings (such as archives) to write about their best techniques and activities for library outreach. The only reason I say the book is not perfect is because the entries do vary: some are more practical in terms of telling you how things are done (what I am really interested in to be honest) and others are a bit more "how we did good, let's all be warm and fuzzy" entries. That aside, this is a very good book full of ideas that should inspire other librarians out there. One of the things I really liked were the various essays on collaborations between schools and local libraries, be they public or academic. Working in this kind of situation is something that interests me, and that at times I have tried to accomplish back when I was doing outreach (as it was my job title and what I did), but was never able to get around to it (it was low priority compared to other more pressing things). I still think such collaborations are crucial, and for me, maybe something to explore later. So, that definitely gave me some hope.
The book answers questions such as:
- how can I better promote library services?
- how can I work with specific constituencies?
- learn more about partnerships, be they on campus or in your community.
- and more.