I’m delighted to have been invited to join the posters on this blog – and here I am just introducing myself.
I am based in the UK, and have been involved in libraries’ work towards social justice for a long time. I have worked in public library services in SE England and Londonsince the 1960s, and now coordinate The Network.
“The Network – tackling social exclusion in libraries, museums, archives and galleries”, to give it its full title, is a network of organisations and individuals working towards social justice. We started in 1999 as one of the positive outcomes of a major research project into public library policy and social exclusion (published as Open to all? in 2000).
Our major activities include the provision of:
- information on initiatives that tackle social exclusion, contribute to community engagement and social/community cohesion, including publishing a monthly newsletter and a regular ebulletin
- training and other opportunities for the cultural sector and related local services to explore, develop and promote their role in this field
- a forum to advocate for partnership approaches to tackling social exclusion and contributing to the wider social agenda.
Although we received a small amount of development funding early on (at allow us to develop our work with museums and archives), we do not receive any external funding – our funding comes from an annual subscription for Network members and income from courses and project work.
As well as the broader social justice area (and how libraries can strengthen their links and deliver provision with other agencies), I am also interested particularly in how we can deepen our understanding of our communities – and hope to reflect some of these interests in my contributions to the blog, especially around working with LGBT people, new arrivals, children & young people in the public care system.
I very much look forward to starting a lot of dialogues!