Community Service usually has social use or value.…or other business transaction.Libraries often use business principles and practices of customer service.Civil servants are civilian employees of a government. …or spiritual path.
Speaking of faith, I think that’s it’s interesting that all around the world there seems to be consistent message of service in spirituality Four Immeasurables:1. Love (‘Maitri’) - A sincere wish for the welfare and genuine happiness of all living beings.2. Compassion (‘Karuna’) - The wish for all living beings to be free from suffering and from the causes of suffering. 3. Joy (‘Mudita’) - to rejoice in the happiness of others. 4. Equanimity (‘Upeksa’) – the ability to regard all living beings without attachment or aversion, whether they are close or far removed from us.Karma Yoga - as taught in the BhagavadGita
Librarians like to use the word service a lot. It seems like we add “service to the end of everything sometimes. Even with Technical Services, where there is no direct contact with the users, we add “service.” Because everything we do we see as helping others. We love to help people!
Elementary school studentsstudied the consequences of natural disasters. The class designed a kit for families to use to collect their important papers in case of evacuation, which students distributed to community members.Middle school students learned about the health consequences of poor nutrition and lack of exercise, and then brought their learning to life by conducting health fairs, creating a healthy cookbook, and opening a fruit and vegetable stand for the school and community.Girl Scouts investigated the biological complexity and diversity of wetlands. Learning of the need to eliminate invasive species, the scouts decided to monitor streams and then presented their findings to their Town Council.University students in Michigan looked for ways to support struggling local non-profit organizations during difficult economic times. Graduate communication students honed their skills while providing a wide variety of public relations services with community partners, including developing press kits and managing event coordination.Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.org/what-service-learning on 10/19/11.Learning serendipitous and open-endedLearning is highly individualized & more engaging
EXPLAIN THE DIAGRAMI want to tell you about my Service-Learning experience. I put Service-Learning in quotes here be cause the project I worked on was not designed to be a Service-Learning project. After I completed this project, I read about Service-Learning in a professional journal and got really excited about the idea and I started to see how this project involved Service-Learning, but t was missing the academic component. Had I done this project as a MLS student, it would DEFINITELY have been Service-Learning.So without further adieu, I will tell you my Service Learning story.
In June of 2010, I was hired as a part-time public services librarian Upper Moreland Free Public Library, in Willow Grove, a northern suburb of Philadelphia. At the time I was hired, the library was in the midst of a renovation of the Children’s Room and was in need of some guidance to get the project completed. The library director, a self-proclaimed non-artist, saw my artistic background as a boon and asked if I would lead them in finishing the project. She proposed this as a separate work contract and estimated that it would take about 40 hours of work on my part (hahaha). I accepted.
In 2008/2009, the library raised $60,000 for a major revision of the Children’s Room. The scope of the project included:Carpeting (which was desperately needed)Vibrant COLORS chosenComfortable seatingShelving end panelsART (including reframing of existing artwork, selection of new artwork, and a LARGE SCALE mural project that would involve the community and serve to thank the people that had donated the money) I have art in bold here because this is the portion of the project that I make the most connections to Service-Learning. Also it’s the part of the project that I volunteered and enormous amount of my personal time to work on.The next series of slides is before and after photos of the room, and I’m going to run through them rather quickly. The point I am trying to make with these slides is the huge difference theses renovations made, and so how much the library wanted to do something REALLY special to thank the donors.
Before: Notice the bubbling and the icky turquoise and gray colors. In many place the carpeting was torn or severely worn, and it was a real safely hazard in addition to being an eyesore.After: The new carpet was mostly blue, with all of the colors of the rainbow added in in an attractive stripe pattern. Notice the red circle of carpeting, which delineates the story hour area.
Before: The bulletin board was turquoise. There was a lot of turquoise and grey in the room before the renovation.After: The bulletin board was covered with a bold red fabric that matched one of the new wall colors.
Before: Gray and turquoise again.After: A nice wood faux finish and the OPAC stations built into the service point. Notice the other new wall color: NACHO CHEESE in the background. Good bye institutional gray.
Before: You can see, there is much to be desired here.After: Same pretty faux wood finish and Mr. Jim’s files, toys, and art supplies are cleverly hidden from view and locked away.
Before: T & QAfter: Faux wood. Are you detecting theme?
Before: computers set up haphazardly on study tables.After: Nice computing station with semi-private stations and two different heights for different sized kiddos.
Before: T. And these chairs were absolutely falling apart.After: Chairs that I selected and I worked with a library volunteer to have the legs painted to match the bold red wall color.
Before: THE chair. This is the chair that started the whole project. The children’s librarian made an off the cuff remark about this chair to the library director one day, and two years later, he had a whole new room. So, be careful what you ask for, OR, it doesn’t hurt to ask!After: I worked with a local furniture maker and upholsterer, and he made us this customed-designed chair. Curious George and Winnie-the-Pooh have given it two thumbs up!
Before: Permanent and not very informative. They just say Video cassettes, DVDs, Audio books, and Fiction.After: The top and bottom sections are completely customizable, so we can put more detailed information, like the call number range, so and when we shift, we can simply print out a new piece of paper to insert into the sign. Bottom section gives us the opportunity to show a picture for the kids.
So after all the fund-raising, planning, designing, and execution of this $60,000 project, the library really wanted to find a VERY special way to thank the people that had donated money to the project. Together, the board president, the library director, and I came up with the mosaic project. The scope of the mosaic project would be outside of what I was orginally contracted for, and I saw it as a great opportunity to learn, so I agreed to continue leading this project as a volunteer. And so this is where the Service-Learning aspect came in. The mosaic project involved making 10 large-scale pieces of artwork. 2 of the mosaics were to be visible from the outside of the room and contained the names of all the people who donated money to renovate the library.
And here they area. I made these in November of last year.
A close-up of the mosaic so you can see the names, and a shot of the mosaic after the tiles were glued down, but before it was grouted.
The 2 thank you mosaics were just step one. Step was time to involve the community in the completed of 8 additional mosaics to adorn the walls of the children’s room in the story time area. We wanted to find classes or groups of kids to complete these mosaics. I made kits for each mosaic so that it would be easy for groups of kids to make them – with help from their teacher or leader. I had 12-18 months to recruit volunteers, send out the kits, grout the mosaics when they were returned, and have the finished pieces installed. I got in done in about 6 months.
I designed each mosaic and traced into onto a support.
But in the meantime, we were staring at some mighty blanks walls, so I made poster-sized outlines of the designs, recruited helpers to color them in, and hung them on the walls. It gave the library patrons a preview of what was to come and helped publicize that the project was on-going, and we we needed help. Here are two of my helpers. They were great! They were in the library one evening and we asked if they wanted to color. Their parents had to practically drag them out of the library. It was like they’d found the biggest and coolest coloring book in the world.
I was a little nervous about finding enough groups to work on the mosaics. But I didn’t need to be nervous, because it was really easy.How did I find them:I wrote a promotional letter describing and promoting the project, and the Children’s Librarian passed it out to teachers at the local public and private school when he did his school visits. The teachers then contacted me directly. After the first mosaic was completed, I made a flyer advertising the project and posted it next to the completed mosaic, and did get one group that way. I actually had to turn down a couple of groups. I worked with the kids directly on the first and last mosaic. The other six groups did theirs on their own. They picked the materials up at the library and dropped off the completed mosaics when they were done.The two groups in bold I worked with, the other 6 I sent out and crossed my fingers. Everyone did a great job.
I called the first groups of kids my guinea pigs, because they were! Although I had now made 2 large mosaics on my own, I had never done anything of this scale with a group of kids before. We didn’t know how long it would take, so we scheduled two Saturdays for a couple of hours each. I was pretty confident that they would be able to finish it in 4 hours with 4 girls working on it at a time.
And they finished the first Saturday! And did such a great job. I was so pleased and it gave me the confidence to start sending my “mosaic kits” out into the community.
I wish that we would have taken a photo with each group and their mosaic, but only got a few. Tise is the 4th grade from St. David’s. They made the castle. You can see the 2 mosaic on the left, and the 2 posters on the right.
This group of girl scouts made the rocket ship.
And this was so great. They made a whole other piece of artwork on the BACK of their mosaic. Handprint, all signed, and their photo.
There are a multitude of benefits to Service-Learning, so many that benefits could be a presentation in an of itself, so I’m going to focus briefly on just a few that were relevant to my project:Academic DevelopmentDeeper understanding of topics and issues –I learned about the political side of public librariesGroup work skills –I worked with library staff, board members, teachers & students, community members (children & adults), outside vendors, township employees, and local politicians, all in the context of one project.Connecting theory with practice – it’s one thing to learn to learn about advocacy and outreach in school, and it’s quite another to practice it in real lifePersonal DevelopmentCapacity for action (Able to make a difference, meet real needs) -I was able to make a difference in kids lives. I spoke to many parents at the WG Block Party who were excited that their child’s artwork would be a permanent fixture at the library, and that they could go and see it for years to come. The children felt that they were helping the library be a more beautiful place.Civic responsibility (Engagement in public affairs ) -– I had the opportunity to meet and speak with both our local state representative and one of our state senators. I was able to show them how we put tax-payers’ money to excellent use.Vocational clarification (Career exploration; acquire job-related knowledge and skills) – I dove head first into public librarianship, developing real skills in networking, community & public relations, and library outreach & promotion.Cultural understanding (Exposure to new groups) – I worked with children, which I really had not done at all before.Community BenefitsProviding valuable services (Offers skills to communities not otherwise available) –The children at Saint David School do not have formal art classes. Art is integrated into the regular classroom. So the mosaic project gave the children the opportunity to do a community service for the library while developing artistic skills. Likewise with the girl scouts, they earned badges for the work they did on the mosaics.Strengthening community relations (Development of meaningful relationships) --I developed relationships with all kinds of new people. Classes brought in for story times, learned about library, programs, SERVICES, sent home with library card registration forms
How can academic libraries support their students and Faculty in Service-Learning?How can we connect Service-Learning and Libraries? THROUGH RESEARCH
- Research…Provides the opportunity to develop IL competencies in our students, competencies that will make them life-long learners. In my experience we learn best when we feel the subject matter is relevant. If the student can begin to develop the skills in the context of service-learning, where is will likely seem highly relevant, because they developing them within a context that they have a stake in, these skills will empower them to help others, and the result of of great value to them because is is helping others. In contrast, trying to teach IL skills in the context of a research paper is quite difficult, because although the students often pick their topic, they have little stake in the outcome of the paper, other than the grade, and studies have shown that grades are not the best motivator. So, if the student develop IL skills in the context of a service-learning experience (highly relevant), s/he can then transfer those skills to future academic projects and beyond.-Service learning can offer a method of addressing information literacy competencies while increasing students’ perceptions of the immediate relevancy of information literacy skills.(ACRL Info Lit Standard Five)
Libraries provide services.Which involves helping people.Find information (stuff).But it’s not about the stuff.Because without the people, it is just stuff. Just words on the page or screen, just ones and zeros.It’s about helping people empower themselves by being lifelong learners and what I hope I’ve demonstrated here is that by combining learning activites with service, the learner is more engaged and reflective. and leaders in their communities.
Library Service:“It‟s the people, not the stuff” -Marcel LaFlamme
“Service” • What does this word mean to YOU?• A good starting point: „Helping other people‟ • What types of service can you think of?
Common types of Service• Community service • volunteering to help people in a particular area• Customer service • helping people before, during, and after a purchase• Civil Service • helping others through contribution to the democratic process• Military service • helping others through enlistment in the armed forces of a government• Service to God (or a higher power) • helping others as guided by the teachings or doctrine of a religion
Service in Spirituality• Christianity, Judaism, & Islam • Strong themes of serving others in the Old & New Testament and the Qur‟an.• Buddhism (Tibetan) • The Four Immeasurables - focus attention on helping others.• Hinduism • Karma Yoga - selfless service (seva) is one of the paths to enlightenment.• Native American spirituality • Code of Ethics - “True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.”
Library Services• Public Services • Reference Services • Includes • Helping users by reference, user providing information assistance, instruction, and instruction on the and all other services use of library resources outside of technical services • Other terms • User Services• Technical Services • Access Services • Acquiring, organizing, p • Outreach Services reparing, and maintaining a library‟s • Instruction Services collections • Etc. Retrieved from http://www.sols.org/librarydev/training/excel/glossaryterms.htm#I on 10/18/2011
Service-Learning“a teaching and learning strategy that integratesmeaningful community service with instruction andreflection to enrich the learning experience, teachcivic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.org/what-service-learning on 10/17/11
Service-Learning Retrieved from http://studentaffairs.uncg.edu/svl/about/ on 10/19/11
“Service-Learning” Upper Moreland Free Public Library Julie & Girl Scouts Troop 7334Girl Scouts of Eastern PA Moreland Service Unit
Children‟s Room Renovation Upper Moreland Free Public Library• Already completed: • To be completed: • Raised $60,000 • Chairs and tables • Carpet • Comfortable seating • Wall color • Shelving end panels • Bulletin board color • ART • Librarian‟s desk • Librarian‟s storage • Shelves • Computer station
Children‟s Mosaics• Girl Scout Troop 7334, Moreland Service Unit• Fourth grade class, Saint David School, Willow Grove• Special ed students, Upper Moreland Intermediate School• Second grade class, Saint David School, Willow Grove• Fifth grade class, Saint David School, Willow Grove• Third grade class, Saint David School, Girl Scouts of Eastern PA• Girl Scout Cadette Troop 7268, Moreland Service Unit• Willow Grove Tri-centennial block party
Results of Service- Learning• Academic Development • Deeper understanding of topics and issues • Group work skills • Connecting theory with practice• Personal Development • Capacity for action • Civic responsibility • Vocational clarification • Cultural understanding• Community Benefits • Provide valuable services • Strengthens community relations
Retrieved from http://anthonyservicelearning.edublogs.org/about/ on 10/19/11
Service-Learning & Library Research• Increases students‟ overall engagement with the project. • Understand hidden complexities • Connect theory with practice• Information literacy skills seem more relevant to the student. • Context • Empowerment • Value• Emphasis on socially responsible information use.
Library Service:“It‟s the people, not the stuff” -Marcel LaFlamme