Sunday Lowdown #34

Interesting Facts From School This Week:

Week 2 I’m learning about about Community Outreach! Here are some quotes from my class reading about libraries reaching out to communities in innovative ways:

  • Businesses want to support specific causes and be public with their support to give their companies identifiable personalities, showing that they support the community and the people in it. Libraries can help them connect to customers, investors, employees and the community.
  • Economic, educational, civic and social opportunities are tied to a whole new set of knowledge and skills that barely existed a generation ago, and people without these skills or access to this information abundance are quickly left behind.
  • No longer a nice-to-have amenity, the public library is a key partner in sustaining the educational, economic and civic health of the community during a time of dramatic change.
  • Libraries need to be less autonomous and adopt more collaborative approaches to engaging with and building partnerships across the community.
  • In the United States, libraries receive about 7.5% of their annual revenue from states and only 0.5% from the federal government. Other sources accounted for just over 7%.
  • A lot of elected officials who make decisions on funding haven’t been in a library in years.

My idea for community outreach is to start a “Books & Beer” book club that meets at a local brew pub — my city has several local breweries. The idea was to capture that “new adult” age (18-30) that isn’t always drawn to my library when they don’t have children.

This Week’s Blog Posts:

On Tuesday I shared my review of the memoir The Love Prison Made and Unmade by Ebony Roberts. While visiting a prison to do some work as an activist, she met Shaka Senghor and started dating him while he was still incarcerated. The memoir details her two years visiting, writing, and calling her imprisoned lover.

On Friday I shared three mini reviews of books I chose not to finish. Two were fatphobic, whether they intended to be or not, and one just couldn’t maintain my interest because it was an uneven collection of flash fiction. I didn’t used to review/rate books I DNF, but after reading an article at Pages Unbound, I have started to. I would have appreciated such reviews before I bought some of the novels I DNF’d.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

October is upon us, and I’m excited to share my (mostly) spooky reads in my start-of-the-month post on Tuesday. Be sure to stop by then so you can see what’s ahead!

On Friday I’ll share three mini audiobook reviews. They are rather different titles: Dare Me by Megan Abbott, Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan, and Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

We’re getting so close to the end! There is news on what happened to Little Em’ly, David realizes his marriage to Dora may have been too hasty, and Mr. Dick helps solve a fidelity concern between Dr. Strong and his (very!) young wife.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

Thanks to Renny and Bill for their recommendations!

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18 comments

  1. Learning about Community Outreach sounds interesting! I would love to hear more about that. Agree with the comment ‘Economic, educational, civic and social opportunities are tied to a whole new set of knowledge and skills that barely existed a generation ago’. That is so true! It has always been crucial to be able to learn new skills, but the development seem to happen a lot faster these days.

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    • I’m not sure how people keep up. A lot of people who work in IT with my husband don’t even have degrees in that field; it moves too fast, and much of the information is constantly following the field and developments.

      I hear about a lot of people saying they used to walk into a job site, demand to see the manager, and then get a job with their word and a handshake. That simply doesn’t exist anymore, and almost all job applications are online.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the mention. Your last dot point for community libraries is scary but true. How can we persuade people who don’t read of the importance of reading; of the importance of access to fiction (stories are the easiest way to learn how other people react) and to non-fiction (data interpreted by, if not experts, then people who care)?

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  3. This may seem like a dumb question, but where do library revenues actually come from if not state or federal government? I guess I’ve always assumed that was the main source.

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Megan Abbott book, she’s an author I’ve been meaning to read! And I also added The Vagina Bible to my TBR based on Ren’s review!

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    • State and federal government provide some funding, but largely it’s through local taxes. My library system’s taxes come from two connected townships. In a lot of cases, when a library is threatened, the public will indeed vote to increase taxes to save the library. There are philanthropic folks who donate money or special collections to libraries or buy wings to get their names on them, and some libraries have businesses in them, like a Starbucks, to increase funding. Another big one you may have heard of is the “Friends” of the library, who raise money and awareness. In my area, they take charge of the book sale, which is open first to members (I believe there is a cost to join) and then the public. Libraries really do not make money from late fees or printing costs (about .15 per page).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow, thanks for the info! My local library is pretty small and isn’t working with any other businesses (as far as I know, anyway- there’s definitely no Starbucks) and doesn’t seem to have much in the way of the community outreach like you mentioned in your post, which is why I was curious! I do think there is a Friends list, but the library doesn’t even charge late fees except for books with hold lists and I’ve never known them to host a book sale, just a free book exchange. So local taxes make sense. And surely there’s more going on than I, as a non-Friend patron, would know about. Interesting stuff!

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