The New Third Place: Libraries as the Heartbeat of the Community UK Society of Chief Librarians National Seminar 2008
Mary A. Dempsey Commissioner Chicago Public Library
Social Capital What is it? <ul><li>Formal and informal networks of human </li></ul><ul><li>beings and institutions which p...
Social Capital <ul><li>Trust – across racial, ethnic and economic lines </li></ul><ul><li>Connections – formal or informal...
Why is social capital important?  <ul><li>It contributes to the economic and social welfare of communities and organizatio...
Two types  of social capital <ul><li>Bonding Social Capital   – networks which link people who are  similar in crucial res...
Chicago  <ul><li>2.9 million people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 white </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 African American </li><...
Chicago <ul><li>A trading post in the 1800’s </li></ul><ul><li>Center of manufacturing, transportation and industry </li><...
Chicago Today <ul><li>A Green City </li></ul><ul><li>79 designated neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse </li></ul><ul><...
Chicago Today A world class public library
The British Book Donation of 1871 <ul><li>Left: 1871 British book donation bookplate.  Right: First Chicago Public Library...
Chicago Public Library Today <ul><li>Department of the City of Chicago  </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet position within Mayor’s ...
Chicago Public Library Today <ul><li>Library card is free to Chicagoans and to 192 surrounding communities in Illinois </l...
Find It! Chicago
Our mission <ul><li>We welcome and support all people in their enjoyment of reading and pursuit of lifelong learning. </li...
CPL 2010 <ul><li>Strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming and safe physical infrastructure and presence in the community </li...
CPL 2010 <ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance and expand programs and partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Increase a...
What is the role that libraries play in bridging and building social capital? <ul><ul><li>“ The library is the heartbeat o...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital?  <ul><li>The buildings themselves </li></ul><ul><li>The public has a...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital?
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>How we extend ourselves  outside  our walls is as important ...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital?  <ul><li>Libraries and cultural institutions are nature partners who...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Curriculum based and Library mission oriented programs promo...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>One Book, One Chicago   </li></ul>
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Teachers in the Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified teac...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Cybernavigators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trained college studen...
What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Financial Literacy lectures in libraries for adults and teen...
Libraries <ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside the doors. Successful community/library relationships are ...
Libraries <ul><li>Support local businesses and institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the library building a community cente...
Libraries <ul><li>Enhance quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>Promote lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Connect people wit...
 
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Bernie Launch

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Bernie Launch

  1. 1. The New Third Place: Libraries as the Heartbeat of the Community UK Society of Chief Librarians National Seminar 2008
  2. 2. Mary A. Dempsey Commissioner Chicago Public Library
  3. 3. Social Capital What is it? <ul><li>Formal and informal networks of human </li></ul><ul><li>beings and institutions which promote </li></ul><ul><li>reciprocity, mutual assistance and trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Putnam </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social Capital <ul><li>Trust – across racial, ethnic and economic lines </li></ul><ul><li>Connections – formal or informal; especially to others from diverse backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Political participation </li></ul><ul><li>Civic involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Socialization </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteerism </li></ul><ul><li>Faith based engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. </li></ul><ul><li>Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why is social capital important? <ul><li>It contributes to the economic and social welfare of communities and organizations and to individual growth and well being. </li></ul><ul><li>It matters for the quality of life in our communities and for our personal happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a stronger predictor of the perceived quality of life in a community than the community’s income or educational level. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal happiness is more closely tied to the level of community social connectedness and trust than to income or educational level. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Community Benchmark Survey </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two types of social capital <ul><li>Bonding Social Capital – networks which link people who are similar in crucial respects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inward looking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who are like you and are likely to be supportive of mutual interests </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bridging Social Capital – encompassing different types of people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outward looking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Necessary for a pluralist democracy but more difficult to create </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries work best here </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Chicago <ul><li>2.9 million people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 white </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 African American </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 Hispanic and Asian </li></ul></ul><ul><li>City of immigrants – historically and in the 21st century </li></ul>
  8. 8. Chicago <ul><li>A trading post in the 1800’s </li></ul><ul><li>Center of manufacturing, transportation and industry </li></ul><ul><li>Central city destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871 </li></ul><ul><li>Rebuilt by 1893 when it hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition </li></ul>
  9. 9. Chicago Today <ul><li>A Green City </li></ul><ul><li>79 designated neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse </li></ul><ul><li>Economy based on major financial institutions and commerce, technology, universities, health care and science, transportation, light industry and manufacturing, tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Music, dance, theater, architecture </li></ul>
  10. 10. Chicago Today A world class public library
  11. 11. The British Book Donation of 1871 <ul><li>Left: 1871 British book donation bookplate. Right: First Chicago Public Library, </li></ul><ul><li>old water tower, 1871 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Chicago Public Library Today <ul><li>Department of the City of Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet position within Mayor’s administration </li></ul><ul><li>Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor </li></ul><ul><li>79 libraries </li></ul><ul><li>52 newly constructed since 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>16 projects in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Operating budget: $106 million (US) </li></ul><ul><li>1300 librarians, administrators, paraprofessionals and clerical staff </li></ul>
  13. 13. Chicago Public Library Today <ul><li>Library card is free to Chicagoans and to 192 surrounding communities in Illinois </li></ul><ul><li>State of the art technology: 2500 desktop computers and free WiFi in all libraries </li></ul><ul><li>New Find It, Chicago! System </li></ul><ul><li>www.chicagopubliclibrary.org </li></ul>
  14. 14. Find It! Chicago
  15. 15. Our mission <ul><li>We welcome and support all people in their enjoyment of reading and pursuit of lifelong learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Working together we strive to provide equal access to information, ideas and knowledge through books, programs and other resources. </li></ul><ul><li>We believe in the freedom to read, to learn, to discover. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CPL 2010 <ul><li>Strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming and safe physical infrastructure and presence in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Current and diverse collections </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated, well trained personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative programming </li></ul>
  17. 17. CPL 2010 <ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance and expand programs and partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Increase access to information in all formats </li></ul><ul><li>Heighten awareness of the public library </li></ul>
  18. 18. What is the role that libraries play in bridging and building social capital? <ul><ul><li>“ The library is the heartbeat of the community.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I think you have to understand what a library does. It’s more than the internet, more than a bookstore. It’s part of the community, an educational place for all ages to go. In a knowledge based society and economy, we’d better be promoting more and more libraries.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Richard M. Daley Mayor of Chicago </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>The buildings themselves </li></ul><ul><li>The public has a right to be welcomed to a library that is attractive, clean and well resourced that presents collections and programs that bring people together. </li></ul>
  20. 20. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital?
  21. 21. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>How we extend ourselves outside our walls is as important as what goes on inside the library. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Libraries and cultural institutions are nature partners whose impact on communities is increased through partnerships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Kids Museum Pass program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ravinia Words and Music program </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Curriculum based and Library mission oriented programs promote social connections and support lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Connect summer reading and local museums </li></ul>
  24. 24. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>One Book, One Chicago </li></ul>
  25. 25. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Teachers in the Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified teachers working with students everyday after school in branch libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An extra set of hands to assist librarians at the busiest time of the day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kids need after school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help parents navigate the school system better </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Cybernavigators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trained college students and graduates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One on one instruction for library users </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. What makes CPL successful at bridging social capital? <ul><li>Financial Literacy lectures in libraries for adults and teens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified financial planners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Financial institutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common sense financial planning advice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A natural extension of book and online collections about saving, spending, investing, jobs, home ownership </li></ul>
  28. 28. Libraries <ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside the doors. Successful community/library relationships are proactive. </li></ul><ul><li>Find the leaders. A concerted effort to discover who’s who in a community makes all the difference. </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative about what the library can contribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Discover and contribute to the unique capacities and conditions of the community. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Libraries <ul><li>Support local businesses and institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the library building a community center. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a community-minded culture among library staff and volunteers. </li></ul><ul><li>Support library investments that jump start community redevelopment efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>The Engaged Library: Chicago Stories of Community Building Urban Libraries Council, 2005 </li></ul>
  30. 30. Libraries <ul><li>Enhance quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>Promote lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Connect people with information, ideas and each other. </li></ul>

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