Category: News

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 19. When you’re ready to apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to Melanie and Mark at the email address listed above.

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Guatemala Trip Information Meeting: February 9 Online

GT Info Meeting Blog Join Librarians Without Borders on Tuesday, February 9 at 9 pm EST / 6 pm PST for an online information meeting about our upcoming service trip to Guatemala. This is an open meeting — all are welcome!

LWB will be in Guatemala from April 22-May 2, 2016 to work with our partner, Miguel Angel Asturias Academy.  At the information meeting a presentation will be given introducing our partner and outlining trip goals and logistics.  Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions. Anyone who is interested in applying for the trip is welcome to attend the meeting.

Learn more about the trip and access the trip application form here. The deadline for applications is February 23.

A recording of the meeting will be posted afterward for those who cannot attend. For more information contact servicetrip2016@lwb-online.org.

Access the web meeting using the links/information provided below:

Join WebEx meeting
Meeting number: 624 005 092
Meeting password: LWB2016
Join by phone
1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 624 005 092

 

Call for Volunteers: Guatemala 2016 Service Trip

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Service Trip Description 

Every Spring since 2010 LWB travels to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to execute our remote work on the ground, to discuss emerging needs with our partners, and to re-connect with the students and school staff. We invite you to join us and work alongside us this year from April 22 to May 2, 2016.

This year’s work at the Academy will include ongoing collection management activities (cataloguing, processing, and organizing materials) and information literacy/outreach programming for students and teachers. LWB works with Asturias to also provide opportunities for trip participants to engage in activities that will help nurture a comprehensive understanding of libraries, education and culture in Guatemala. Typically trip participants are also given the opportunity to help finalize the last weekend activity (for example, visit scenic Lake Atitlán or trek to one of Guatemala’s volcanic peaks).

Primary Projects

  • Continued support of ILS implementation and lending system at the Asturias Academy through collection management support.
  • Information literacy and outreach programming targeting all students and levels through multi-day library events.
  • Professional development workshops for teachers supporting library integration into the curriculum.

Housing and Food
While in Quetzaltenango (Xela), participants will stay and eat most of their meals at the COFA Catholic Retreat Centre. On the weekends meals are eaten with a local family or at local restaurants. Vegetarian options will be available.

Expectations
All trip volunteers are expected to:

  • Attend online meetings (3-4) to discuss projects and receive training on the Asturias Library and the local community context. These meetings are mandatory for all volunteers.
  • Join and contribute to a working team before the trip.
  • Participate in pre-and post-trip assessments (e.g. evaluation surveys).

Program Fees
The program fee is $1500 CAD* (= ~$1080 USD) for 11 days. This total covers lodging, food, transportation and entrance to all activities within Guatemala, as well as a fundraising fee to support LWB’s Guatemalan programs. Trip participants are responsible for paying their own airfare to and from Guatemala.

There is a $500 CAD non-refundable deposit due by all accepted applicants by March 3. The remainder of the fees ($1000 CAD) can be paid at the same time or by March 10*.

In addition, all trip participants are expected to bring extra spending money for additional purchases such as souvenirs and snacks, as well as occasional meals in Guatemala ($50-100 is adequate).

Important Dates

  • Guatemala Information Meeting (online) – February 9
  • Application Deadline – February 23
  • Successful applicants selected and notified – February 29
  • $500 CAD* non-refundable deposit due – March 3
  • $1000 CAD* (remainder of program fees) – March 10

*Note: The $1500 CAD may be revised to a new final figure if a significant change in exchange rate occurs. This information would be published by March 3.

How to apply: Submit a completed Volunteer Application to servicetrip2016@lwb-online.org by February 23. Thank you!

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.

Annual General Meeting: July 29, 2015

Librarians Without Borders is hosting our 10th Annual General Meeting

Members: Please join us to hear about LWB work over the last year.

Date: Wed, July 29, 2015

Time: 6:00-7:30 pm EST

Place: Online via web conference

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Our AGM will be held as a webinar to allow members near and far to participate. The instructions for registration will be sent via email to all of our members later this week. If you do not get your AGM package and invite, please contact membership@lwb-online.org to request a new email be sent. We look forward to convening with you.

Join our Team: Accepting Nominations for Executive Leadership

Librarians Without Borders’ 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is soon approaching, and with it comes elections of particular Executive positions as required by our bylaws. Download and read the job descriptions below for more information about what we’re looking for and how to apply.

Executive Team

Co-Executive Director (1 position)

Treasurer

Membership Director

To Apply

Read the application instructions in the job descriptions, complete the materials, and send to nominations@lwb-online.org no later than July 17, 2015. Please direct all questions to nominations@lwb-online.org.

Candidate summaries will be disseminated to the membership in the AGM package prior to the AGM and candidates will be voted into office by LWB members who attend the AGM and those who have voted by proxy.

Executive Team

Collection Development at the Asturias Academy

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By Kerry Purvis

The 2015 Librarians Without Borders Collection Development team did some great work at the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy this year! This year the project focused on cataloging newly purchased books, reclassifying teacher resource materials, and mending damaged books. All five team members received training on the cataloging system prior to the trip and put the training to use on site.

Before arriving at the Asturias Academy the team stopped by the Piedra Santa publishing company in Guatemala City where they purchased 19 books to add to the library’s collection, and where trip participants purchased additional books individually to donate. The team added a total of 56 new books to the collection.

The team was responsible for classifying the books, adding a call number and adding stickers to the books to explain their reading level and genre. They referred to a Spanish Dewey list when adding call numbers. The school’s books are cataloged by Dewey subjects only and they do not go past the decimal point. After assigning a call number they began by dividing the books into three reading levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.The team then selected the genre of the book, assigned the book a reading level, and added color-coded labels. Once the book had a call number and its labels the team then referred the school’s master inventory of 4,851 items to see if there was already a copy of the book in the collection. The school’s librarian Dorita maintains the entire catalog in an Excel spreadsheet. Following that the team then wrote on the back of the cover the reading level (P, I, A), call number, first three letters of the author or editor, and copy number if there was more than one copy.

The team took on several side projects as well. Some of the books were translated into Spanish to make them bilingual books. These were pictures books that had plenty of space to add additional English text. The team also reclassified teacher resource materials, which had been in a separate category. The category was eliminated and and reclassified as advanced books.

A future goal of the collection development team is to help the library create a collection development policy.

Click below to see Alexandra Ferguson talks about Asturias Collection Development

 

 

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