After our on-campus weekend, I thought a lot about what it means to have a meaningful program at your school or library. While we need lots of programs that are high interest, timely, and "cool" to draw the young it, I also think we should think about programming that helps develop the idea of civic participation amongst our young users.
The public library in Oak Park, IL has launched a community service program for elementary aged students. They have partnered with a local aid organization and created events that only take about an hour to complete, the young patrons learn about a community need and do some type of project to help with that need. Here is a link to read about the program and see a calendar of events:
I believe whole-heartedly that a library is a "public good." In the age of budget cuts and seemingly endless attacks on "public" institutions, I think that this is an excellent opportunity to show the worth of a public library. If libraries serve as a center of community services, no one can deny how essential it is to the betterment and survival of a community--not matter how "in need" or "un-needy" that community is. I don't know if I said that very eloquently, but I hope it makes sense.
Do you have ideas about how to have community service events in conjunction with library programming? I'd love to hear about them!