INF2143H: Issues in Children & Youth Librarianship, Partnership Proposal


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PLEASE NOTE: This presentation was part of a project for INF2143H at the University of Toronto iSchool. The assignment was to propose a partnership on behalf of a library. Our group chose to propose a partnership between the Flemingdon Public Library (part of the Toronto Public Library system) and the Ontario Science Centre. We are not affiliated with either of these organizations, and the proposal is fictitious but based on real information.

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INF2143H: Issues in Children & Youth Librarianship, Partnership Proposal

  1. 1. Partnership Proposal:Flemingdon Park Library & Ontario Science Centre INF2143 – Group Project Darrell Joyce, Mobina Bhimani, and Meaghan Nichols
  2. 2. Goals• To create a partnership with the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) to promote much- needed science literacy amongst the children from low-income families in the Flemingdon Park community who cannot otherwise access OSC’s resources, programs, and science knowledge available at the centre.• Access to science knowledge & literacy is paramount to children’s futures.
  3. 3. The Community Flemingdon Park: A Priority Neighbourhood• Population = 22,000.• Children & Youth = 35% of population• Low-income and living below poverty line = 45%[Source: ]
  4. 4. Flemingdon Park Demographics (2006)Source:
  5. 5. Flemingdon Park Demographics (2006) Income and PovertySource:
  6. 6. Flemingdon Public Library• A branch of the Toronto Public Library• Children’s attendance figures are not available, but FPL had an increase in attendance of 25% in 2010 vs. 2009 [Source: TPL 2010 Annual Performance Measures Report]• “there were 134 childrens programs and an additional 6 youth programs at Flemingdon Park Branch and all were very popular!” [Source: Personal Conversation, March 3 2012 on Toronto Public Library’s FaceBook Wall] rd• TPL has a good reputation and is a valuable organization to partner with (high visibility, well respected in the community).
  7. 7. Ontario Science Centre• OSC is a government-run (Gov’t of Ontario) agency, which is an ideal organization to partner with as it is not a private corporation and will be more acceptable to the community• OSC is seen as valuable organization to the community• Attending the OSC is seen as a tradition/rite of passage for children. To be excluded from visiting due to economic factors is a big disadvantage
  8. 8. Ontario Science Centre• In 2011, the OSC was attended by 1.13M people, approx. 10% are low-income visitors, due to the high admission costs [Source: ]• Very few people in the Flemingdon neighbourhood can afford to attend the OSC (basic admission range from $13-16 for children, $20 for adults. Extra cost for IMAX experience, which most people attend). [Source:]• OSC Community Access Program: already has funds earmarked for programs to aid low-income visitors and the community. We need to access these funds for our children’s programs.
  9. 9. Science Literacy• Toronto Declaration (2008) – All citizens should have access to a science centre – Should be able to overcome barriers to access the science centre: cultural, geographic, physical, economic, etc. – Science Centres “support the skills needed for effective problem-solving, creativity, innovation, critical thinking and decision-making, therefore enhancing lifelong learning of science and technology” – and “form strategic partnerships to help address important local, national and global challenges” [Source:]
  10. 10. Why Partner with the OSC?Source: created by Darrell Joyce
  11. 11. Why Partner with the OSC?• Overlap in our mission, vision, and values – OSC Mission: "To delight, inform and challenge visitors through engaging and thought-provoking experiences in science and technology.” [Source:] – Toronto Public Library (TPL) “preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment. Library services and programming support literacy, learning and research, reading, recreation, employment and culture.” [Source: TPL 2011-2020 Capital Plan,]
  12. 12. Our Recommendations: Pilot Project• We recommend creating a pilot project partnership between the OSC & FPL, which could later extend to other priority TPL branches• Create monthly children’s science programming to increase their scientific literacy and usage of the library• Invite guest speakers from OSC, set up activity stations and small-scale science experiments• Create science book displays and portable science displays
  13. 13. The Microscope Works Project• Theme: Health & the Human Body• Guest speaker from OSC discusses the body, brings some slides/pictures & models• OSC provides a kit containing 2-3 “toy” microscopes, tissue slides, 1 digital microscope, 1 projector (one time purchase) to display slides on overhead• Librarians create book display and discuss some books• Activities/toy microscope stations/experiments are set up at various stations• Discuss issues such as diabetes, role of healthy diet and exercise, etc.
  14. 14. Annual Budget• First year: approximately $3,000 plus guest speakers’ time and free admission to OSC – One-time purchase: Digital Projector (~$500), Digital Microscope (<$500), 3 toy microscopes ($100, replace every couple years), prepared slides (~$100 for several sets) = $1200 – Ongoing: activities and small experiments (~$50/month * 12 months) = $600 – Extra science books and supplies = $1200 – OSC donates free admission for children & parents who attend at least 3 program sessions. Doesn’t hurt their budget as these are people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend (~100 admissions)