LWB at McGill & the Native Friendship Centre

The collaboration between the McGill chapter of Librarians Without Borders (LWB) and the Native Friendship Centre (NFC) of Montréal centres on the importance of connecting Indigenous communities with Indigenous literature and film. When LWB first formed a partnership with the Native Friendship Centre in autumn 2014, we were asked to find ways to promote literacy within the Indigenous community in Montréal, specifically through developing resources and programming at the NFC. We began by developing a small library for youth who frequent the NFC, with a focus on graphic novels and children’s books written by Indigenous authors. These materials often grapple with histories and experiences undergone by Indigenous communities in ways that are at once complex and accessible to younger readers. However, we’ve since realized that occasional visits by LWB to the NFC library are not enough to continue developing a sustainable relationship with the urban Indigenous community.

LWB McGill committee members cataloguing at the NFC

LWB McGill committee members
cataloguing at the NFC

In autumn 2015, our LWB chapter initiated weekly film showings in the NFC’s youth centre for young adults, again focusing on films made by and about Indigenous communities. Following the viewing itself, the participants, NFC animators, and LWB volunteers discuss any thoughts stirred by the film. Several participants have come to the viewings every week, and give us feedback on the different films. For instance, they have repeatedly expressed interest in learning about Indigenous communities from other parts of the world, and discussing how they are similar to or different than those in Montréal and Québec. As time goes on, the LWB chapter will purchase selected films to add to the NFC’s library for long-term access.

LWB has also partnered with a small library in the Katavic School Board that focuses on resources for learning Inuktitut. Through this collaboration we have learned a lot about the importance of language preservation and the role librarians can play in making these resources available.

In the future, LWB McGill would like to continue supporting initiatives both locally and internationally to assist Indigenous communities and help connect them with the various resources they need and want to use.

Join Our Team: Director of Operations

Join our Team

 

Ten years ago LWB was founded at a single university in Canada with a handful of MLIS students launching our work. Fast forward to 2016: we’re now an organization with multiple program partners, new project ideas and partners under development, and an executive team of twelve with six student sites, 500+ members worldwide, and more than 95 professionals who have participated on our annual service trips to Guatemala.

In other words, we are fortunate to now have a lot of moving parts! We are at the point in our growth where these parts would benefit from someone helping to keep tabs on them and keep them on track.

To that end, we are recruiting for a Director of Operations  (DoP) with a project management focus to join our team of Directors. The DoP will work alongside the two Co-Executive Directors and Director of Membership and Communications to advance the priorities of the organization.

Who are you? You’re a master of organization who enjoys putting sense and structure to work, who is excited about translating the big picture into daily practice, and who likes to collaborate with diverse teams.

We have a lot of ambitions for LWB. If you love the mission of LWB and would enjoy volunteering with us in this important role, please read on.
Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Co-Executive Director (Operations), the Director of Operations is responsible for ongoing partnership and program management support. You’ll have your finger on the pulse of our programs, and help shape our projects and move them forward. This includes:

  • project scheduling to identify when tasks will be performed and by which team/team member
  • tracking and reporting on project milestones, following up as necessary with team members
  • suggesting and potentially rolling out interventions when projects may run off-schedule
  • take minutes at core organizational meetings (directors, executive team, program heads, AGM)
  • convert varied meeting notes into action items in our  project management software
  • manage and monitor the main LWB general email account (info@lwb-online.org)

Your first task? Review our existing plans and help us choose a tool for managing them. Once the tool is up and running, you’ll port our plans into it and then help us stay on track.

 

Qualifications:

  • You’re a master at organizing multiple projects, deadlines, resources and schedules.
  • You’re a team player (and team leader), self-motivated and able to use time wisely.
  • Disposition marked by maturity, resourcefulness, flexibility, empathy, and collegiality.
  • Good problem-solving skills and nimbleness are a must!

 

Time Commitment and Duration:

The work is expected to take 10-20 hours regularly per month, with a consistent 2-4 hours per week. There is no term limit on this position.

LWB is a virtual workplace. Our volunteers work from their home — wherever that may be — and collaborate across geography using web conferencing software provided by us. The virtual nature of our workplace allows you to work whenever is most convenient for you (aside from periodic scheduled synchronous meetings).

 

Compensation:

LWB is an entirely volunteer-run organization.

While we cannot offer monetary compensation, we can offer you a great experience for furthering your management aspirations in your professional career and a vibrant outlet for contributing to global librarianship in a leadership role. You will also find community with those who share similar interests and passions as you do!

 

How to Express Interest:

For questions or to explore your interest, please email Melanie Sellar and Mark Gelsomino at exec@lwb-online.org by February 26 (DEADLINE EXTENDED). When you’re ready to apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to Melanie and Mark at the email address listed above.

Thank you for a great year!

Thank you for making 2015 such a great year! It was our tenth anniversary, and we accomplished a lot thanks to you – and all of our supporters and members!

This was our fifth year partnering with the Asturias Academy in Guatemala. During this year’s service trip, we taught the students all about the library with an action-packed Library Day, brought books and catalogued materials in the library, and introduced new professional development for teachers.

Jasmin, one of this year’s trip participants, speaks about what she took away from the trip:

We also began a new partnership with Limitless Horizons Ixil in Chajul, Guatemala, and helped automate some of their work in order to free up the librarians for more individual support of community members.

We’re looking forward to making 2016 one of our best years yet! Thank you from all of us here at LWB.

Click here for donation information and options.

Want to let the world know you support Librarians Without Borders?
You can also wear your support with merchandise from our Skreened store.

Librarians rock. Help us add them!

Instead of shopping Cyber Monday sales or buying an expensive present, make a donation to Librarians Without Borders this holiday season. You’ll get a card for your family member, friend, or co-worker—and you’ll have given a gift that truly makes a difference. Choose your gift below!

 

informationgiftweb

LWB was founded by a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. We form partnerships with community organizations to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates—librarians. Support LWB’s mission to improve access to information by making a general donation.
Choose this gift.

 

justaddlibrariansgiftweb

Librarians are the key piece to making a library work.This is what LWB is all about – the unique skills that librarians offer. Your donation helps supply our local library partners with technical skills and training, and tools like barcode scanners and digital library catalogues. With your support, these librarians will be able to make a difference in their communities.
Choose this gift. 

 

letstalklibrariesgiftweb

Love libraries? We do too – and we teach children and teachers all about libraries and how they can use them! Your donation will go towards our information literacy programs in Guatemala.
Choose this gift.

 

Looking for other ways to support LWB? Check out this page for how to join, wear your support, and more!

Libraries in Xela, Guatemala

By Kerry Purvis, LWB Service Trip Participant

This year’s LWB service trip participants had the chance to visit three different libraries in Quetzaltenango (or Xela), Guatemala. The majority of the trip was spent at the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy school library, and there were also short visits to the library of the Bank of Guatemala, and the Quetzaltenango Public Library run by the municipal government.

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The Miguel Angel Asturias Academy school library is very similiar to school libraries seen in Canada and the United States. It is located in the school and serves students from pre-kindergarten to high school, and their teachers as well. The collections includes fiction and nonfiction titles, mostly in Spanish with some in Kiché or English, and they are separated by reading level. Students cannot check out books yet, unless they need them overnight for an assignment, but the library is working to create a checkout system for students. This makes the library very unique because most Guatemalan libraries do not have circulating collections. The library is very cozy and includes tables and floor cushions where students can read. Each classroom visits the library once a week. Students check out books and have story time with Dorita the librarian or with their teacher if Dorita is helping a student find books. Some students also spend extra time in the library to work on their reading with Dorita. Both students and teachers enjoy the library and love visiting it every week.

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The library of the bank of Guatemala is located next to the bank in the Quetzaltenango town square. Upon arrival the librarian greeted the trip participants and shared some details about the bank. It is open the same hours as the bank and is mostly used by adults. Many of the patrons are students or business people using the library. Some patrons use materials from the collection while others use the space to study with materials they bring from outside the library. The library’s collection is closed stacks. Patrons ask for materials and the librarian locates them and brings them to the patrons. Materials do not circulate. Only the librarian can take books off the shelves. The library does include a card catalog that patrons can use to look up titles. During our visit we saw many patrons working quietly at tables and patrons asking the librarian questions.

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The public library is also located near the town square. When we arrived one of the librarians greeted us and took us on a tour of the library. She showed us the different locations of the collection. The building used to be a jail and much of the collection is kept where the jail cells existed. Each cell area includes a different section of the collection. The books are kept behind a gate and only librarians take them out of the cell. If a patron wants a book there is a list of titles they can look over, then they go to the librarian’s desk to request the book they want. Patrons then can use the books in the library only. The library serves both adults and children and also includes a children’s collection.

Interview: Dorita on her role at the Asturias library

by Kerry Purvis, LWB Guatemala Service Trip 2015 participant

During the Librarians Without Borders 2015 service trip I had the privilege of interviewing Dorita, the librarian at the Miguel Ángel Asturias Academy. I asked her questions about the library and its role in the school.

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How long have you worked in the library?
For three years as the librarian. I worked as a teacher for four years, then I left because of an illness. In 2012 I returned to become the librarian.

Why do you think it’s important to have a library at the school?
It’s so important because it helps students with vocabulary and with reading. In this country there aren’t a lot of opportunities to have extra help with reading. Guatemalan schools have a reading curriculum but they don’t usually have libraries. Libraries offer that additional help.

Let’s talk about your role with the teachers. Do the teachers come to the library to ask you to look for books for their classes?
Yes, they come often.

Do teachers look for books on their own, or do they ask you for help?
It depends. Some ask for help, some don’t. The new teachers ask for help because using the library is new to them.

How do you communicate with teachers? Do they come to the library to speak with you?
The school staff have meetings on Monday afternoons and I recommend books to the teachers. I recommend books that follow the school’s monthly theme. Teachers also come to the library to ask me questions.

What books did you recommend this month?
This month’s theme is ecology and one of the titles I recommended was El Mago Que Salvó El Mundo (The Magician Who Saved the World).

How do you encourage teachers to use the library?
At the beginning of the year the new I do an orientation with the new teachers. One thing I do is show them how to read to their classes.

Can teachers check out books like the kids can? For how long?
Yes they can. Teachers can check books out for one week. I keep index cards with each teacher’s name, and when they want to check out a book they tell me the book’s title and I write it down on the index card. When they return the book I cross the name out on the card.

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Do you read out loud to the students in the library or do the teachers?
It depends. Sometimes I do, sometimes they do. Sometimes teachers read to their classes if I am helping a child. Teachers stay with their class when they come to the library so I can help children who want to find books.

What’s your favorite thing about working at the library?
I like working with the kids, especially helping those who haven’t been to school yet or who can’t write. For instance, I work with one student one-on-one once a week for an hour and we play games to help him with his reading. Sometimes he comes more than once a week if he needs more help.

LWB Newsletter (December 2012)

Librarians Without Borders

 

Help LWB put information in the hands of the world
With the holiday season fast approaching, consider honouring your friends and colleagues with a special gift from Librarians Without Borders. What better way to honour the spirit of the season than with a gift that will help put information in the hands of the world?

 

Support our Librarian in Guatemala
Thanks to our generous donors, in 2012 we were able to bring a fully qualified Library volunteer, Nicholas Newlin, to the Asturias Academy in Guatemala. Due to the success of Nicholas’ work in 2012, LWB hopes to bring another volunteer Librarian to Asturias in early 2013 by offering the Asturias Librarian stipend for a second time! The stipend will help to continue with training, implementing reading programs and transitioning the Library to a fully operational lending model.Help us support development of the Asturias Library by giving to the Asturias Librarian Stipend Fund.

 

Wear Your Support
Introducing LWB T-Shirts and Book Bags! Step on out in your official LWB Logo t-shirt, or display LWB’s mission on your book bag. All products are sustainably made (and sweat-shop free!) by Skreened.com.So head on over to our Skreened store for yourself or for a gift for others.

 

 

A Special LWB Thanks to Tinlids Inc.
A supporter of Jorge Chojolán’s recent North American Tour!
Tinlids Inc. is a Canadian wholesaler of books for children and teens serving schools and public libraries across the country. Their love of literature for young people shines through in all the work they do, as they help teachers and librarians select the best books and build great collections. At Tinlids, they are not market-driven, but quality-driven. This is reflected not only in the books they carry, but also in the attention and care they give to all their customers. Tinlids is owned and operated by Maria Martella, a veteran of the children’s book industry for more than twenty-five years. Visit www.tinlids.ca.

LWB Newsletter (October 2012)

Librarians Without Borders

LWB presents: Jorge Chojolán, International Educator & Social Activist

John Abernathy Photography http://www.abernathyphoto.com/


It is our pleasure to announce that LWB will be hosting our Guatemalan partner, Jorge Chojolán, from November 11 – 29, as part of a North American speaking tour. Jorge is the founder and director of the Asturias Academy, a progressive k-12 school that offers education for students from low-income and indigenous families. The speaking events will focus on the following themes: education reform, leadership, libraries and literacy in Guatemala. About Jorge Chojolán
Jorge has spent his life committed to improving access to education for low income and indigenous families in Guatemala. Inspired by the writing of Paulo Friere’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Jorge is creating an alternative school system designed to spur improvements in education throughout Guatemala. Learn more about Jorge’s story…

Librarians Without Borders and the Asturias Academy
Since 2009, Librarians Without Borders has worked with Jorge and the Asturias Academy to promote literacy and libraries in Guatemala. Through many hours of fundraising, planning and hard work, Asturias was able to open a community library to students and their families in January 2011. Learn more about our work in Guatemala…

 

 

Developing a Reading Culture: Worldreader in Ghana

Encouraging and promoting reading will help inculcate it as habit. With ereaders and digital books, many are exploring the question of leapfrogging from print to digital – can it work? LWB-Ghana team member Amanda Oliver writes about Worldreader and its efforts to introduce digital books into communities.

 

LWB Newsletter (September 2012)

Librarians Without Borders

Librarians Without Borders Celebrates
International Literacy Day, September 8, 2012

For this International Literacy Day, LWB wants to show you, our members, the work that all of you help make possible. Click below to watch.

Today, on September 8th, please share this video with your family and friends!
http://youtu.be/zLZ03Sd3diY

LWB Newsletter (July 2012)

Librarians Without Borders

Please join us at the Librarians Without Borders
2012 Annual General Meeting web conference

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
7:00 – 8:30 PM EST

To register for the AGM, please click here: http://bit.ly/KUJerX
To vote at the AGM, consult your attached AGM package which contains all of the instructions.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Erika Heesen, Membership Director at membership@lwb-online.org.

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