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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inspired for Outreach with Impact

I just listened to the archived recording of a UW-Madison SLIS Continuing Education webinar by Yee Lee Vue of the Appleton Public Library.  She was talking about library outreach to the Hmong community.  She spoke specifically about their project to bring Every Child Ready to Read information to Hmong families.  I recommend listening to the webinar--it is truly impressive to learn about the number of people they have reached, and the meaningful outcomes they have achieved.  However, many of her suggestions are useful for any outreach effort.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Next time you have an opening, strongly consider recruiting someone from the community you are trying to reach.  This helps address language barriers, and makes many facets of outreach easier and more effective.
  • Even without someone on staff who speaks the language, there are crucial things you can do to enhance your outreach efforts:
    • Develop relationships with trusted agencies and people that already are serving the community you want to reach (churches, mutual assistance associations, etc.)
    • Take time to develop relationships in general.  Let word of mouth work for you.
What are you finding helpful for outreach?

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