I searched for my book title in WorldCat today and learned Gwen M Gregory reviewed my book in Information Today back in October. However did I miss that!? Here’s an excerpt:
[Hill’s] writing and her professional activities reflect her passion for the social and community aspects of libraries. While she is sophisticated in her knowledge of technology, she always emphasizes that it is a means to an end. It isn’t the be-all and end-all of libraries, and we shouldn’t get stuck there. “[L]ibrary staff seemed more concerned with fixing their print- ers and arguing about why users didn’t find us as relevant as Google than they were with imagining the incredible op- portunity before us: to lead and facilitate the content creation and discourse of our communities and constituents,” she writes.
So what do we get from all this? Libraries are a valuable social commodity and provide social links. If we think we are just for sitting quietly and reading books, we will cease to exist before too long. If we jump into the community mix, get out there, and show off what we do, our communities will benefit and will appreciate our services. Best of all, we will be doing something that really matters.
Hill makes a great case for an expanded role for librarians. We can build social capital within our communities and grow to become an even more important part of the social network. This goes for all types of libraries. This book will inspire you to think hard about the role that your library now plays and where it may stand in a few years.
Thank you, Gwen. I appreciate your full synopsis of the work in your review. What took me a while to get down under a few hundred pages, you’ve summed up perfectly in just one! I hope that even as the work gets “dated” from the years we spent in the rush of user-generated content, it will still be relevant to library staff thinking about how we can evolve into new relevance with our users.
Thanks Ms. Welton for your very kind words!
Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community. Hill, Chrystie (Author) Jun 2009. 192 p. ALA Editions, paperback, $48.00. (9780838909874). 021.2. In this fluently written how-to manual, author Hill makes a potent case for community building as an essential form of service in public libraries, both for their survival and relevance and also for the needs of those Americans who find themselves “bowling alone.” She outlines five steps in the process she recommends public libraries follow to build communities: assess, deliver, engage, iterate, and sustain. Explanation of the stages is clear, and examples from librarians in the field serve as dynamic illustrations. Although the book was researched and written before the current economic debacle caused library use to skyrocket, Hill’s model remains applicable—and provides libraries with a method for taking full advantage of increased foot traffic as well as connecting outside and online. — Ann Welton, Booklist
these book reviews are facinating to me. but i’m starting to wonder — to you? maybe that’s a sign that i should stop posting them? tell me what you think…
at any rate, here’s the third book review.
A library is more than a building that grants access to information. “Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community” is a guide for librarians to adapting one’s library to the community around it. Every community is different, and therefore every library should be different to suit local needs. With advice on identifying the needs and desires of the communities, attracting the community, and more, “Inside, Outside, and Online” is of strong recommendation for any librarian who wants their library and their community to be successful – Library Bookwatch, James A. Cox Editor-in-Chief, September 2009.
i checked in with my ALA Editions representative and she said that the book was sent to Library Journal for potential review, but I have not seen it there yet – hoping it makes it, still. i am so grateful for this feedback. it’s really great to hear and gives me quite the boost for continuing the conversation, so, thank you.
This is exciting. Another positive book review, this one published in Reference & Research Book News (August 2009). It’s really great to hear that this reviewer recognizes (can I go so far as to say appreciates?) the “scholarly and historical context” that I provide for the community building elements you all told me about in our research. My thesis advisors from Sarah Lawrence College (where I got my MA in History) would be so proud…
Hill, a librarian and consultant, provides practical advice and inspiration for building the library community through identifying user needs and designing services to meet those needs, engaging communities with service selection and creation, and using new technologies. The book begins by setting the author’s research in context with broader scholarship, research, and trends. It examines ways in which both people and libraries have been impacted by recent developments in networks, technology, and community, and looks at the implications these developments have raised for library practice. Stressing the urgent need for libraries to consider their work thorough the lens of building community, the author outlines the components of community building, drawing on the experiences of libraries surveyed in her research, and sets each component in its historical and scholarly context. (Annotation ©2009 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
In other news, I’d like to thank Cheryl Napsha for her excellent suggestion (via email) about a refreshed direction for this blog. I’m thinking more about it, but I think she’s definitely onto something. I’ll leave it a mystery, for now, but it’s amazing what sorts of ideas and blessings come to you when you put questions out into the universe. I tell ya. Amazing.
Apparently, people are reading my book. Or at least skimming it. The way that I know this is that book reviews are starting to appear. Does anyone know about the business of LIS book reviews? How does your book get selected for a review? Within what time frame will they start to come out? Please, if you’re a seasoned LIS author and have any kind of scoop for me, please dish…
Thank goodness, the first one was very nice and pleasant and here is what it says: inspirational! valuable resource! encourages reading from cover to cover! must have!
Hill, Chrystie. Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community. Chicago, American Library Association, 2009. 175p. index. $48.00pa.; $43.20pa. (ALA members). ISBN 13: 978-0-8389-0987-4.
Authored by the director of community services at WebJunction, this inspirational and research-based work outlines principles to support building a strong library community. Drawing on her background as a writer, librarian, and community builder, Hill outlines the process of making the library the center of your community and thereby raising the perceived value of the library. Separated into seven chapters, the work begins with people and networks, followed by libraries and communities. The following chapters address the steps in the process: Assess, Deliver, Engage, Iterate, and Sustain. Bringing examples and guiding questions, Hill engages the reader to seriously think about how to make their own library community emerge successfully inside the library, in the community the library serves, and in the online community. References, additional resources, and an index make this a valuable resource, while the writing style encourages reading from cover to cover. This work is a must have for any library wanting to reach out beyond their present users.—Sara Marcus
This appeared in ARBA online (American Reference Books Annual) in July 09. Thank you Sara Marcus for being so kind.