Library Commission Supports Children's Services
For more information
Libraries of Promise Campaign Enters Second Year
The Libraries of Promise campaign is based on supporting the development of five of the assets that young people need in order to grow into productive adults: teaching, mentoring, nurturing, safety, and opportunities for service. Public libraries contribute significantly to children and youth in these five areas. The Libraries of Promise campaign, now in its second year, gives public libraries across Nebraska opportunities to demonstrate the many ways they contribute to the well-being of children, providing the resources to help young people develop in these five key areas. Nebraska libraries pledging to provide any combination of these resources are designated Libraries of Promise. They receive a certificate and window decal to recognize the extra effort in these areas.
Success stories like these are posted on the Library Commission Web page nlc.nebraska.gov, as examples for other libraries: In Indianola the librarian offers a warm, safe place for children whose parents are socializing. She has developed warm relationships with children who might not otherwise use the library. Anselmo children and youth flock to the library to socialize, read, check out new books, play games, and dress up in new identities. The library is the only safe place in the community where young people can gather. A special shelf of books written and illustrated by local children resulted from a collaborative project between the Klyte Burt Memorial Library and the school in Curtis. Children develop writing skills and their work receives public recognition, thus nurturing their interest in writing. The Lexington Public Library enlisted volunteers to teach in Spanish, helping provide Spanish-speaking middle-school students with computer and Internet skills. Atkinson high school students deliver library materials and stories to daycare centers, giving them the opportunity to be of service to the community.
The Neligh Public Library plans to offer training in volunteer skills to young adults and to help them find volunteer positions, supporting opportunities for community service.
Public relations materials to help youth librarians communicate the importance of their services to communities will be distributed by the Nebraska Library Commission. For more information see the Library Commission Web site, nlc.nebraska.gov, search on Libraries of Promise.
Service Learning Partnership Planned
Public libraries across Nebraska will pilot a Service Learning project, sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L) and funded through a grant from the Nebraska Volunteer Commission. Service Learning is a method of teaching and learning that engages students in solving problems and addressing issues in their school, public library, or greater community, as part of their total education and development. Service Learning projects have been a part of school curriculum for many years and are now being introduced into public libraries as part of the statewide Libraries of Promise campaign, showcasing the library's role in youth development. Public librarians throughout Nebraska were chosen to pilot this Service Learning project because of their abilities to think and envision creatively.
In May 2001 representatives from Arapahoe, Atkinson, Beatrice, Chadron, Elkhorn, Fremont, Grand Island, Plattsmouth, and Wymore worked with campus leaders, Service Learning students, and other community leaders to determine needs of communities and youth and to list functions that public libraries have traditionally performed that make a difference in the lives of young people. This group developed grant proposals to meet specific community needs and to use service learners from participating colleges to develop and implement programs. The project was scheduled to begin in Fall 2001, but has been delayed due to UN-L administrative factors. For more information see the Announcement on the Library Commission Web site, nlc.nebraska.gov.