This is a follow-up to “EPL: Extraordinary Public Libraries” describing how Edmonton and Halifax Public Libraries are integrating library services into communities. Thanks Ken Williment for alerting me to an article he & Pilar Martinez recently published in the Swedish BIS: bibliotek i samhalle. Ken, Community Development Manager @ Halifax Public Libraries and Pilar, Executive Director Public Services @ Edmonton, wrote Canadian Libraries: Innovating & Creating Inclusive Services. It details the development of their respective community-led services and Halifax’ asset mapping. At a time when many North American public libraries are touring Europe to learn from the innovative libraries there, it’s great to see a European profiling Canadian innovation.
On the one hand, I’m still a bit amazed — ok, a lot amazed — that it has taken us this long to grasp the fact that “community-led” services should be the heart of libraries’ service portfolios. It’s one of those smack-my-forehead-this-is-so-obvious moments for us as a profession and for the library sector. On the other hand, I’m relieved and delighted that we are on the right track — and that Edmonton, Halifax, Vancouver, Regina & other public libraries are leading and willingly helping public libraries along that track to transition their services from librarian-led to community-led.