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Building Community, Making Connections in Skokie, Illinois

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  1. 1. Building Community, Making Connections in Skokie, Illinois Frances E Roehm [email_address] 847.324.3173 4 March 2011
  2. 3. Some Skokie Facts <ul><li>2010 population: 64,784 </li></ul><ul><li>ca 39% of our residents were born in other countries </li></ul><ul><li>> 50% speak a language other than English at home </li></ul><ul><li>> 90 different languages spoken other than English </li></ul><ul><li>ca 20% of residents are over 60 </li></ul><ul><li>Skokie is a village that works . </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Meet our Great Community Building Tool! </li></ul><ul><li>Features everything you would want to know about Skokie, Illinois </li></ul><ul><li>From Demographics to the Arts to Health & Social Services </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained by Skokie Library staff, community partners, Village residents, and volunteers from tweens to 92 </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can post items on the SkokieNet Community Information Network </li></ul>
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  5. 12. Why Build a Community Info Center? <ul><li>Why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians are information providers </li></ul><ul><li>Community information is often the hardest to find and keep up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the information helps librarians stay in touch with the community </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians don’t have an agenda. They are trusted to provide authoritative and non-biased information about the community </li></ul>
  6. 13. How Do We Stay Informed? <ul><li>Newspapers & media </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons & Colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Folks we meet outside the </li></ul><ul><li>library (clubs, grocery, barber shop, places of worship, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Signs or posters around town </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber & other local agency & institution newsletters and e-lists </li></ul><ul><li>Community partners </li></ul>
  7. 14. Who Does the Work? <ul><li>An octogenarian and a nonagenarian make phone calls to update information </li></ul><ul><li>Staff add content, update, and edit </li></ul>
  8. 15. An Ever Evolving Group of Teen Volunteers!
  9. 17. Our Teen Assistant & Volunteers: <ul><li>Take & edit pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Keep us informed </li></ul><ul><li>Get us connected </li></ul><ul><li>Plan events </li></ul><ul><li>Train other teens and adults </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for and record community events </li></ul><ul><li>Interview and record community residents </li></ul><ul><li>Create websites, podcasts, and videos </li></ul><ul><li>Submit stories, poems, and pictures to </li></ul><ul><li>SkokieNet & TeenTalk </li></ul>
  10. 20. Interviewing State Senator Schoenberg at Holocaust Museum Grand Opening
  11. 21. I-GO Carsharing Comes to Skokie
  12. 23.
  13. 26. We Support Area Organizations: Attend Meetings & Events <ul><li>Chamber of Commerce & fraternal or business networking groups in the community (such as Rotary) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen and learn; And think about ways the library can help. </li></ul><ul><li>Always have information about one or two things the organization would find of interest about the library: business card signup, remote access, new services, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Carry a big supply of business cards </li></ul>
  14. 28. Libraries Add Value: <ul><li>Program & meeting rooms, online calendar and community network, exhibits of artwork </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the potential for partnering to solve common problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Safe places for teens to congregate (online and in real time) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book-/weblists, services, programming, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 29. Think of programs/services that could be brought into the library <ul><li>Our Congresswoman’s staff members assist with healthcare/federal agency questions </li></ul><ul><li>Career counselor, Resume reviewer, Career Support Group </li></ul><ul><li>Health screenings, Medicare assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Tax forms, Section 8 forms </li></ul><ul><li>Passports, other agency services </li></ul><ul><li>Community information & Comfy spaces! </li></ul>
  16. 30. Working with the Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky <ul><li>We first connected when I heard that she wanted to offer office hours in the Village lower level once a month </li></ul><ul><li>I invited them to use the library, increased to twice a month, and have since developed a relationship </li></ul><ul><li>When the Congresswoman was anticipating having a particularly testy health town hall, I volunteered to help </li></ul><ul><li>In December, we’re partnering to offer assistance with Medicare Part D signups </li></ul>
  17. 43. Don’t overlook other staff & volunteers They can be among your best advocates! <ul><li>Meet folks where they are in the community! </li></ul><ul><li>Our octogenarian volunteer received a regional award for his advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>A teen volunteer’s invitation led to better connections with one of our communities </li></ul><ul><li>Staff members and volunteers help connect with other people, organizations, information </li></ul><ul><li>Formal and informal community advisory groups and partnerships help make connections and build community </li></ul>
  18. 44.
  19. 45. We are Community Building Together in Skokie, IL [email_address] ; 847.324.3173