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Title:Community-Led Librarianship Demands an Asset-Based Community Development Approach
Author(s):Stevenson, Siobhan
Subject(s):Asset-based community development
Abstract:For the public librarian, archivist, or curator, asset-based community development (ABCD) is many things: a professional practice, a research method, a partnership-building vehicle, and an important tool with which to support the development of healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities. ABCD is the opposite of, but complement to, needs assessment studies. In the latter, emphasis is placed on what’s lacking in a community, its deficits, what it needs; rather than what it already has, its assets. ABCD is premised upon the belief that all communities contain a wealth of resources: in the people who live there, in their associations, clubs and institutions, as well as the businesses they run and frequent. This paper introduces the value of a recently offered graduate course in ABCD for students with interests in the new community-led librarianship. It is also a course, that I hope, contributes to contemporary conversations about a re-envisioned LIS curriculum, and responds to the pressures I have experienced firsthand in both the community and in the classroom. The phrase “our interconnected world” is interpreted here as that world beyond the four walls of the library and into which public librarians find themselves embedded in unfamiliar territory. These are communities at a far remove from the status quo. At the heart of this work is a commitment to social justice through community development that places communities, their members, and their assets at the centre, and the library professional on the sidelines in a capacity-building role and as a useful source of bridging social capital.
Issue Date:2020-10-13
Series/Report:LIS Education
Curriculum
Research Methods
Pedagogy
Community Engagement
Community-led Services
Public Libraries
Social Justice
Specific Populations
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108812
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-09


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