Rhymes, Rhythm and Relationships: A Model of Community Collaboration between a Public Library and an Organization Serving Aboriginal Families

Rhymes, Rhythm and Relationships: A Model of Community Collaboration between a Public Library and an Organization Serving Aboriginal Families

By:
Els Kushner
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Description: 

When a Children’s Librarian from the Vancouver Public Library and an Aboriginal Infant Development Consultant from the YWCA got together to co-create a weekly early literacy program for Aboriginal families with young children, the planning process, by all appearances, took only an hour over coffee. But the relationship-building behind that coffee hour had started almost two years earlier, and involved intention, reflection and effort from  the two professionals, as well as considerable support, conscious policy creation, and staff development on the part of their respective organizations.
In this session, we will present a model of community engagement and collaboration between a public library and a local organization serving Aboriginal families, including the background principles and policies that the Vancouver Public Library and YWCA Crabtree Corner brought to the process. We will discuss the values that facilitated our partnership, including a shared belief in the importance of individual relationships, a commitment to process over product, and knowledge of and respect for Aboriginal culture. Finally, we will share guidelines that other libraries can apply and adapt when working with Aboriginal and other marginalized groups in their own communities.
The attached files include our slide presentation, which is quite brief, as well as our handout, including:
1) A table of the handout of values, policies and procedures that supported and enabled our program, "Rhymes, Rhythm and Read"
2) A short bibliography of links to supporting materials, including the Vancouver Public Library's Guidebook for Community Engagement
3) Contact information for both presenters

Author E-Mail: 
els.kushner@vpl.ca
Conference Year: 
2017
Materials
Presentation Topic: 
Reconciliation