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A catalyst council is ...


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Presentation by Luiza Morris-Warren and Grace Kempster

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A catalyst council is ...

  1. 1. What it means to be a catalystcouncil – our journey so far1Grace KempsterCustomer and Libraries Manager, Customersand CommunitiesLuiza Morris-WarrenStrategic Planning Officer, BusinessImprovement and PerformanceAB
  2. 2. The model28 features;5 delineators;6 success factorsAB
  3. 3. CATALYST• Climate setter• Acuity• Trust• Alliance builder• Letting go• You• Sustainability• Tapering3AB
  4. 4. Climate setter• Sets the conditions for facilitatingcommunities to help themselves and eachother• Sets the expectation of self reliance and thecommonality of inventiveness and innovation• Sets the ambition of targetted deliberateintervention so the outcome is “they did itthemselves”4AB
  5. 5. Acuity• “acuteness or clearness of vision”• Using deep insight and understanding tojudge the required intervention• Knowing how far and how fast to go• Evidence based approach with clearintervention and expectation of outcome• Vital ingredient to retain close understandingand clear sightedness of the county’scommunities5AB
  6. 6. Trust• Trusting people to come up with their ownbest solutions• Underlying belief in and respect for others• Faith in what people might become, theirresilience and goodness• Trust as preferred organisational style6AB
  7. 7. • Brings together the right ingredients forsuccess• Understand that all the elements in the rightquantity and timing are needed for thechemical chain reaction to work• Demonstrates a wider connectedness andforges excellent and mature partnershipworking7Alliance builderAB
  8. 8. Letting go• Got to give up power to empower – andempowerment has to be accepted• Courage to see things as they could be not asthey are• Underpinning long term view• Replacing professional superiority withcreative insight and focussed intervention8AB
  9. 9. You• All public service effort seen as with you notdone to you• Whole effort is on success – for you, yourfamily, your community• Focus on your resilience, your latent talent• Involvement is a continuum that grows anddeepens9AB
  10. 10. Sustainability• Builds in resilience and strength• Strong principles of self regulation• Timely intervention to re-start the reaction• Understanding the principles of oscillation incommunity life10AB
  11. 11. Tapering• Support and investment with the end in mind• Commitment to the tapering down of stateand tapering up of communiities• Dealing with dependancy• Stopping well11AB
  12. 12. A catalyst council is NOT• Patronising• Our world not yours: focussed on itself ratherthan its impact• Words only: delays and give lip service toletting go in particular• Effortless or easy : recognises the role is notsimplistic or naïve• Risk averse: rather risk managed and launchand learn approach12AB
  13. 13. IMPACT critical success factors• Ingenuity – forges cunning alliances andconnections• Moderator role is strong with deep listening andinsights the success of others• Pace – excellence in the timing of interventions• Action oriented• Collaborative – ace at connections management• Tough on those who won’t let go13AB
  14. 14. We have challenges• Flexible working and creative thinking to meetfinancial restrictions• Ready to learn from others• Evaluating what works and what needsimproving• Valuing everyone’s contribution• Putting our customers needs and aspirationsat the forefront of all we do• Holding fast to the model14AB
  15. 15. Libraries and communitiesWhat works?The role of libraries in developingsocial capital15AB
  16. 16. ‘Know your customers’ or ‘Knowyour community’?• A survey carried out by the Carnegie UK Trust shows thatwhile 47% of respondents in England find libraries essential orvery important to themselves, 74% consider them essentialor very important to the community• How many people use the library and for what?• What does our community values, needs, aspires to, expectsfrom a library service?• Community = individuals + infrastructure + social capital16AB
  17. 17. Libraries and communities• Community involvement inlibraries• independent communitylibraries• community managed libraries• community supportedlibraries• commissioned libraries• volunteers running/supporting libraries• Libraries involvement inthe community• provide the best possibleservice to the localcommunity in an appropriateway, which shows an in-depthunderstanding of communitymake up and needs• different libraries for differentcommunities17AB
  18. 18. Libraries and social capital• Social Capital = the totality of networks, social interactions andopportunities for involvement which exist within a community,based on reciprocity and an interest in mutual development, anddevelopment of the socio-cultural and economic environment• Different things to different people• Takes different shapes in different communities• Library use is significantly associated with community involvement(University of Western Ontario, Canada)18AB
  19. 19. Why are libraries ideallyplaced to develop socialcapital?-a safe and welcomingenvironment-trusted professionals-a ‘neutral’ setting (people don’tassociate libraries with the localauthority in the way they mightdo social services or highwaysservices)-technological skills-people from different socio-economic backgrounds-customers of all ages-non-judgemental ordiscriminatory environment-wide range of information andactivities attracting a wide varietyof customers19AB
  20. 20. The role of libraries20• affluent community, with high levels of social involvement and adequateinfrastructure in place• the residents have the skills and time required to self-organise, identifyand meet need• apt at organising themselves and putting in place the right measures todevelop and maintain social capitalCommunityhub• deprived communities, with high numbers of transient residents and lowlevels of involvement in charitable and volunteering activities, usuallywith inadequate or insufficiently exploited assets• set the scene and provide the practical support• heavily reliant on big organisations delivering services on behalf of thelocal authority, with little input in terms of developing skills and resilienceCommunitycatalyst• new and emerging communities• emerging networks and relationships in the absence of existinginfrastructure, and significant opportunities for self-governance• more innovative approaches to networking and addressing needs, andthey tend to take the shape of social media fora, created around need orinterest, rather than location aloneCommunityfacilitatorAB
  21. 21. The role of the librarian• ‘I believe community involvement is as much a competency for thelibrary profession as literacy instruction or information retrieval’• Become an active member –or even a leader– in your community(e.i., your arts community)• Long-term, being a leader in your arts community is the mostefficient, rewarding, and all-around beneficial way for a librarian toposition themselves to provide excellent programming services totheir community(The ‘Library As Incubator Project’, USA -
  22. 22. • village community• group of youths• intimidating, anti-socialbehaviour• reduced visits• reduced activities• circumstances changenaturally• negative impact:segregationThe library delivering change:• small town community• group of youths• disruptive, unsafe• risk of impact on visits andactivities• Youth corner• problem as opportunity• positive impact: cohesion,participation, inclusion22The library affected bychange:AB
  23. 23. 23“In times of change, it is the learners who will inheritthe earth, while thelearned will find themselves beautifully equipped fora world that no longer exists.Libraries are for learners.”(Al Rogers – a pioneer of the use of computing in education,quoted in Learning from experience: guiding principles for localauthorities, For Arts Council England and Local GovernmentAssociation, January 2013)AB