Many public libraries have adopted the “community-led” model of service with the idea that services and programs should reflect the needs and interests of a library’s unique customers. Community involvement and input into program and service planning is a priority in community-led libraries.
At Terry Fox Library, we have maintained a display of “Staff Picks” for many years. Staff members fill out a bookmark explaining why they love certain books, and the books are put on display. Many customers eagerly check out staff picks and the staff feels a sense of satisfaction when customers borrow one of their favourite reads. However, staff picks don’t represent the variety of reading tastes of the Port Coquitlam community. My colleague and I wondered how we could involve our community members in the process of passive readers’ advisory at Terry Fox.
We decided to ask community members to recommend their favourite books, and create a display called “Port Coquitlam Reads”. To begin, we will approach recognizable citizens of Port Coquitlam such as City council members, charity directors, artists and business owners. Many of Port Coquitlam’s citizens are heavily involved with a variety of sports. We would like to involve athletes, coaches and referees in Port Coquitlam Reads, too. A bookmark has been designed and printed that features “Name and Role in the Community” and a space to write about “Why I Loved This Book”. We will ask members of the community to fill out a few bookmarks each and return them to the library. Port Coquitlam Reads will be a great way to promote awareness of community organizations and will hopefully be a method of forming connections between citizens. We are looking forward to launching “Port Coquitlam Reads” this fall.
Library Technician at the Fraser Valley Regional Library