Librarians Without Borders Asturias Academy Project CASLIS Presentation


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Librarians Without Borders Asturias Academy Project CASLIS Presentation

  1. 1. Librarians Without Borders: International Service Learning in Guatemala <ul><li>Robyn Maler </li></ul><ul><li>Carolyn Doi </li></ul>
  2. 2. Librarians Without Borders (LWB) <ul><li>Non-profit organization </li></ul><ul><li>Strives to improve access to information resources regardless of language, geography, or religion, by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions. </li></ul><ul><li>LWB is made up of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student committees at five universities in Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Executive Team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Board of Directors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General members </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Miguel Angel Asturias Academy <ul><li>Private, non-profit Pre K-12 school in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, </li></ul><ul><li>Founded in 1994 to eliminate education disparities through subsidized tuition </li></ul><ul><li>Aim to create informed, critically-thinking, socially conscious citizens through its curriculum. </li></ul>
  4. 4. LWB – Asturias Project Beginnings <ul><li>Student-led initiative: LWB McGill Student Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue began in Fall 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>LWB trip to Guatemala, Spring 2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>11 LWB McGill students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 days cultural visits and volunteer work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn more about the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop library manual of recommendations in collaboration with Asturias staff </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Asturias Academy Library <ul><li>2009 – 2010 under construction </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 2011 official launch </li></ul><ul><li>Located within the school </li></ul><ul><li>Current users: Asturias students & staff </li></ul><ul><li>Future plans: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open up the library to the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing collection development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Library Collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Level 1 – under 7 years (542) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level 2 – 8 to 12 years (1022) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level 3 – 13 and up (147) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total collection (~2000) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Asturias Library April 2010
  7. 7. Asturias Library January 2011
  8. 8. Partnership Outcomes <ul><li>Asturias Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians Without Borders </li></ul><ul><li>Improved relationship with LWB and international community </li></ul><ul><li>Increase awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Asturias staff/students benefit from </li></ul><ul><li>Support for the Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improved relationship with Asturias and library community in Guatemala </li></ul><ul><li>Increase awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for LWB to grow as a non-profit org. </li></ul><ul><li>LWB students benefit from service learning model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presented opportunities for professional growth </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What’s happening now? <ul><li>2010 – 2011 Asturias Library Project </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-committee participation </li></ul><ul><li>2010-2011 LWB Umbrella Project </li></ul><ul><li>Collection Development Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Service Learning Trip, April 2011 </li></ul>
  10. 10. LWB Cross-Committee Participation 2011 Guatemala Trip and Collection Development Projects
  11. 11. 2011 Guatemala Trip Goal <ul><li>To support the transition of the school library into a public library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LWB McGill’s April 2010 trip to the Academy was a relationship-building experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can now build on the foundations laid over the last year to extend services to the wider Xela community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each student committee brings its own unique strengths and experience </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Putting the „Public“ in Public Library <ul><li>Who is the public? Who are the community members? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of Spanish, Mayan, or other descent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Native speakers of Spanish, K‘iche‘, or other Mayan languages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different educational socio-cultural backgrounds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family members of Academy students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Likely have no experience with public libraries or reading for pleasure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How does this user group differ from the library‘s present user group? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Challenges <ul><li>Language barrier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spanish and K’iche’ speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paucity of resources in K’iche’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Socio-cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of a tradition of public libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing libraries are underfunded and underutilized </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Itinerary <ul><li>April 22-24: Retalhuleu </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>April 25-29: </li></ul><ul><li>Asturias Academy, Xela </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>April 30-May 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Rio Dulce & Livingston </li></ul>
  17. 17. Activities at Asturias <ul><li>Lead by different participants and subgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Programming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development and field-testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identifying gaps in the collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing the collection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>K'iche' audio-book project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of K‘iche‘-language audio book resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Librarian training </li></ul>
  18. 18. Activities at Asturias <ul><li>User needs assessments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To determine users‘ information needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We will assess demographic information, socio-cultural and educational background, languages spoken and written, literacy levels, personal priorities, work and leisure activities </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Activities at Asturias <ul><li>Community outreach and engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on information gathered from user needs assessment and knowledge of community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies to target and engage women, the impoverished, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups in the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of special outreach programs for these groups </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Activities at Asturias <ul><li>Library marketing strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on information gathered from user needs assessment and knowledge of community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing strategies outline ways to inform different community groups, especially adult women, K‘iche‘ speakers, and indigenous people, about the library and its activities </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Activities at Asturias <ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The blog will provide timely and concise updates on the project ’ s goals and objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows people around the world to follow the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three blogging coordinators will be responsible for mobilizing blogging efforts during the trip </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every team member will contribute to the blog </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Trip document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations Action plan </li></ul></ul>Activities at Asturias <ul><ul><li>Programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lending policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Future Plans <ul><li>Opportunity for students to share their experiences from the trip with each other and the professional library community. </li></ul><ul><li>Continued collaboration with Asturias </li></ul><ul><li>As their priorities change, so will our relationship with them: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>another trip </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>continued fundraising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansion of the library </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>Our commitment to Asturias has evolved as our relationship has strengthened and their needs have changed. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Asturias and LWB have things to gain from this partnership </li></ul>
  25. 25. Thank you! <ul><li>Go to for more information on this project. </li></ul><ul><li>Find us May 27 th – LWB at CLA Conference in Halifax </li></ul>