5 Organizations That Support Libraries & Librarians
Libraries are valuable community hubs that provide a wealth of beneficial services, from summer reading programs to helping people find jobs. Unfortunately, they don't always get the funding and support that they need to function properly. That's why organizations like the ones listed here work to advocate for, celebrate, and support libraries and librarians. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Groups Dedicated To Supporting Libraries
|Urban Librarians Unite||Brooklyn, NY|
|Federation of Ontario Public Libraries||Ontario, Canada|
|Library Planet||Roskilde, Denmark|
|Lubuto Library Partners||Washington, DC|
|University Council-American Federation of Teachers||California, USA|
What Librarians Wish You Knew About Libraries
Helpful Services Provided By Libraries
- Book lending
- Free access to the Internet
- Quiet spaces for study & work
- Community programs and classes for youth
- Research resources
- Employment resources
- Access to publications like periodicals & newspapers
- Lending of films & music
- Free public meeting spaces
- Access to ebooks & audio books
Do We Still Need Libraries?
With many educational resources available online, some people have questioned whether libraries are useful in the modern age. But there are still many vital services provided by these institutions. For one thing, there's the physical space they offer to homeless people, who are often discouraged from spending too long in businesses like cafés that often act as a public gathering space for those who are willing and able to spend money there. And in the digital age, where it can be difficult to find or hold onto a job without access to the Internet, the free computer access provided by libraries is essential to many people living below the poverty line. Libraries also give those who are learning English a place to immerse themselves in the language, and many offer additional resources such as free classes, multilingual books, and recommendations for education courses in the area. They also act as a place where all members of a community, no matter their age, wealth, or background, can gather, learn, and attend events together.
How Libraries Change Lives
From supplying your next great read, to providing internet access and learning technologies, libraries are indispensable public spaces that provide crucial services. Fortunately, there are many organizations supporting these vital community hubs and the hard-working people behind the circulation desk. Here, in no particular order, are several groups that provide assistance to libraries and librarians.
Up first, in the #1 spot, we have Urban Librarians Unite, a passionate group of urban library professionals and advocates. The group's work focuses on New York City, and it provides resources for contacting NYC elected officials to advocate for local libraries. ULU encourages activism through programs like storytime protest.
This group also provides resources to help libraries better serve refugees and other displaced populations. The Mini Libraries project was launched in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. ULU produces short webinars that discuss everything from cybersecurity to homelessness. It also holds an annual librarians conference, as well as social events.
ULU produces short webinars that discuss everything from cybersecurity to homelessness.
Coming in at #2 is the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries. This non-profit organization represents over four hundred public library systems in communities throughout Ontario. Its strategic work includes advocacy, research and development, and marketing. FOPL was founded in 2005, and its governing board includes representatives of First Nation peoples and rural areas.
By highlighting the value of these community spaces, FOPL works to ensure necessary funding and support for libraries throughout the region. In June 2020, this group published an anti-racist resource guide as part of its mission to ensure that public libraries provide equitable access to community resources.
Next up, #3 on our list is Library Planet, a crowdsourced travel guide for libraries of the world. This guide is meant to inspire book-loving travelers to visit bibliothecas of all sorts around the globe. Countries all over the world, including New Zealand, Canada, and Morocco, are represented.
Countries all over the world, including New Zealand, Canada, and Morocco, are represented.
Founded by two library professionals based in Denmark, this directory features both public and academic collections. The guide also notes which destinations are historic or special, such as the ancient Lotus Pond Library in Cambodia. Anyone can contribute, and entries are written as thorough blog posts.
At #4, we have Lubuto Library Partners. This public charity is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a regional office in Lusaka, Zambia. Founded by a professional librarian in 2005, Lubuto has created open-access libraries throughout Zambia. LLP sites boast architecture that reflects indigenous culture, and receive thousands of visitors each week.
Each library contains a professionally-developed collection, including volumes written in Zambian languages, and computer-based learning resources. LLP promotes inclusion by proactively reaching out to Zambia's most vulnerable children and youth and other marginalized groups with a holistic programming model. It has also trained over five hundred individuals to provide quality library services to children.
LLP promotes inclusion by proactively reaching out to Zambia's most vulnerable children and youth and other marginalized groups with a holistic programming model.
And finally, in the #5 spot is the University Council-American Federation of Teachers. This union represents librarians and non-tenure track faculty working throughout the University of California system. Since 1983, UC-AFT has negotiated and administered statewide collective bargaining agreements for UC lecturers, program coordinators, supervisors of teacher education, and librarians.
More than three hundred UC librarians play a critical role in supporting the system's mission to teach, conduct research, and provide public services. The union's achievements include better job security, higher professional salaries, and improvements in overall working conditions. There are local chapters of UC-AFT active throughout the state.