I am because We are

sense of belonging: My lifetime commitment to connectedness and truth seeking:self.identity.culture.community.homage of history.life.activism in the form of radical librarianship.

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he said, “its like you’re in the past, or the present, or a dream like state.”

——-member describing Elsewhere. He had returned to the space for the second time to sit with a book that was similar to those of his youth.

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Reference Library as Place

Much has been written recently about the  "library as place.” This essay approaches thequestion of library space philosophically, arguing that developing commercial attitudes toward space leads us away from more productive ways of conceiving libraries. A concept called Third Space is introduced, and its relevance to libraries and librarianship is explored. Third Space is defined and applied to various library concepts, especially information literacy. The article contendsthat thinking about Third Space can help ibraries and librarians develop ways of working with increasingly diverse populations in increasingly dynamic contexts.

Elmborg, J. K. (2011). Libraries as the Spaces Between Us: Recognizing and Valuing the Third Space. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50(4), 338-350.

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Reference Cultural Development and City Neighborhoods

Carole, R. (2011). Cultural development and city neighborhoods. City, Culture And Society, 2(Cultural policies and creative cities: Some insights), 9-15. doi:10.1016/j.ccs.2011.02.002

This article examines four defining characteristics of city cultural policy: (1) the concentration of cultural resources in downtowns and cultural districts; (2) a policy infrastructure focused on nonprofit organizations, cultural industries and tourism; (3) the narrow policy scope and political influence of city-level cultural agencies; and (4) the decentralized and under-institutionalized authority and oversight in the public cultural sector. The article traces the impacts of these characteristics on cultural development and the cultural life of neighborhoods, arguing that when city cultural agencies do not consciously and actively incorporate communities and their needs into cultural development, their policies and programs can in fact conflict with and threaten the cultural health of urban neighborhoods.

The article concludes that in order to foster a more coordinated and holistic approach to developing and managing neighborhood cultural life: (1) cultural development must be purposefully dedicated to supporting the diverse cultural lives of city residents; (2) cities should designate an agency responsible for supporting neighborhood cultural life, invest in neighborhood cultural asset mapping, and plan for ways to promote identified cultural assets; (3) licensing and permitting of cultural activities should be governed by codified, transparent processes overseen by a cultural agency accountable to both the cultural sector and neighborhoods; (4) public sector cultural agencies should be better integrated into decision-making and implementation of policies that impact cultural activity; and (5) in some cities, a central cultural authority should be designated.

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The Living Library Independent Study Areas of Focus

Outreach/Program Development: Assist with outreach and development of public programs associated with the South Elm Library. This could include updating social media, email/phone correspondence and setting up meetings with local orgs to lock in participation and collaboration.

  • Research: Conduct local research with neighborhoods around Greensboro and South Elm Street about how they use libraries, what they would like to see in a library/public space and how they can interface more with Elsewhere.
  • Library Engagement and Archiving: assist with public events and create your own personal project or initiative at the Library.