I'm the Outreach Services Coordinator at Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City. My job is to take library services out into the community, to our patrons who cannot make it in to the building. I am also responsible for building relationships with local organizations and finding ways that we can work together.
Tell us a little bit about the community where you work.
We are a small town on the central coast with about 9000 people, with almost 15% of the population speaking Spanish. Since we are considered a vacation destination, our main industry is tourism and hospitality.....who doesn't want to come to the beach right?? One thing I find unique about our area is that you can go from urban developments to rural areas in a matter of minutes. So some days I'm visiting places here in town that are easy to get to and other days I'm taking the 4WD up the mountain to visit patrons that live in the woods. It's awesome!
Can you tell us about some programs or services that you’re excited about at your library?
We have a great outreach program (not that I'm biased or anything :) ! Being the only library in our area, we do a great job of reaching as many home bound patrons as we can in our service area. Between home visits, books by mail and the Talking Books program, there are a variety of options available to meet the needs of our community. Another upcoming thing I am really excited for is our 2nd Dia de los Muertos celebration! Last year's was a huge success and we can't wait to see how this one goes.
- Network, network, network! I am the first person at my library to speak Spanish and pretty much had to start from scratch. It was a little overwhelming at first but with the support from the various colleagues I have met and the guidance I have received from REFORMA, we were able to establish and continue to maintain relationships with our Hispanic community.
- Know that you are not alone. Sometimes it can seem that you are fighting an uphill battle all alone. But trust me, there are others out there in the same boat and they are willing to share their struggles with you. Knowing what has worked and what hasn't can be extremely helpful in this endeavor.
- Get your Library Director on board with your efforts. I'm extremely lucky that my Director supports my mission wholeheartedly but that isn't always the case. If it seems that your Director or City Administration are a little reluctant to take on this Outreach effort, do a little research, get advice form your colleagues and present them with a strong case that shows the need in your community. Be the squeaky wheel because someone has to be and who better than YOU!
Tell us about the favorite part of your position and why.
I love visiting and getting to know my patrons. I've met so many amazing people and truly enjoy listening to their stories.
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