A LIBRARIAN AT EVERY TABLE
December 20, 2004. No. 237.
Sources & Sites for Community Building.
The National Neighborhood Coalition held its annual meeting on December 17. The NNC is a convener of people and organizations concerned about neighborhoods, a conduit of information about programs and policies, and an advocate for neighborhood based organizations. The fall 2004 issue of Connectivity, the NNC journal, focuses on politics for the long haul.
What is missing from the search engine of the NNC are any hits for "library" or "libraries." This in spite of the importance of libraries to neighborhoods as explored in Robert Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein's book, Better Together: Restoring the American Community (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003)--specifically the chapter, "Branch Libraries: The Heartbeat of the Community." Better Together was an initiative of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America. It includes discussion of Chicago public libraries that have broadened their mission and have become true community centers.
Librarians need to stay attentive to the opportunities to inform community builders of the important role we can play in neighborhood revitalization. We belong on every page.