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Ways libraries are becoming the co-social (think co-working with services) platform for their communities
Curated by Doug Mirams
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Belonging, and libraries as empathy engines?

Belonging, and libraries as empathy engines? | SocialLibrary | Scoop.it
The discussion was based around the question “What does it mean to belong in Australia ?”. Tim Costello was CEO of World Vision and writes about equity issues. Isabelle Li was born in China, but came to Australia voluntarily to resettle in 1999 after living for five years in Singapore. Abdi Aden was a Somalian refugee who came to Melbourne at 17 and now works as a youth worker.

The most library-relevant part of the talk was Isabelle Li describing her annoyance at being asked “but how could you understand what it was about?” when she revealed that she had read Dicken’s David Copperfield several times as a teen because she loved it so much; the presumption being that a 20th Century young woman in China would not have anything in common with a young lad in Victorian times. But, “of COURSE I could empathise with the characters. That’s the POINT of literature”.

It made me think of libraries, particularly public libraries, as “empathy peddlars”. By providing a wide range of literature, much of it people would not come across for themselves, do we provide more chance for people to put themselves in each others’ shoes? Do our programmes for such a wide cross section of the community give people exposure to ideas and people that they would otherwise avoid ? Does the common purpose of using wifi or a comfy workspace, and the fact that NO ONE IS FORCED TO BE THERE, mean that people get to understand that other people  with whom they think they have nothing in common, actually make similar choices to themselves?

Via Trudy Raymakers
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Weston Library Warms to the Role of Meeting Place - The Daily Weston

Weston Library Warms to the Role of Meeting Place - The Daily Weston | SocialLibrary | Scoop.it

Weston Library Warms to the Role of Meeting Place The Daily Weston

 

"Karen Tatarka, head librarian at the Weston Public Library, gives a tutorial on one of the Kindles now offered for check-out.

 

During the Oct. 29 snowstorm the Weston Public Library became a gathering place and communications hub for residents who had lost their power. It was a place where Westonites could interact with the outside world, get on the Internet, charge their cell phones or simply warm up and chat with friends.And that's the way Karen Tatarka, director of the library, likes it.

 

“When it comes down to it, this really is an open space for the public, and we like to look at it as a community space rather than a library space,” Tatarka said.

 

Over the years, libraries throughout the country have been remodeled and updated, both internally and externally, to adapt to technological change, and the Weston library is no different. “I think as our society changes, we have to change with them,” Tatarka said."

 


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Libraries invite artists and musicians to move in upstairs - Brooklyn Public Library

Libraries invite artists and musicians to move in upstairs - Brooklyn Public Library | SocialLibrary | Scoop.it

"Bands and painters will soon be able to get their artistic groove on above the stacks at libraries in Williamsburg and Red Hook.

Spaceworks, an organization tasked with using taxpayer money to create art spaces around the city, plans to build practice and studio spaces in the Williamsburg and Red Hook branches of the Brooklyn Public Library. Taking over the public space for private use is the perfect way to provide much-needed cheap digs to creative types, an organizer said.

“We were created to address the issue of affordability for artists,” said Spaceworks executive director Paul Parkhill. “We are looking to do projects that are 15 or 20 years at least to make sure they are stabilizing forces in the community.”


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Karen du Toit's curator insight, February 28, 2014 4:19 AM

The use of library spaces - future of libraries!