Community, and LCN

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Relationships, quality of life, sustainable lifestyles and cultural environment – in a word, community.

Most of us are familiar with several types of community resources: businesses, tax paid ones like police and fire departments, schools, the post office, and perhaps also a few nonprofits.

Most businesses, tax paid services, and some nonprofits, are easy to identify, but many nonprofits are not that easy to see. Yet, they’re here, supplying everything from social activities, to basic necessary services. It’s these local noncommercial resources that are often hidden from easy viewing.

Some future-looking global scenarios suggest that large-scale environmental changes may occur as a result of things like global warming, pandemic disease, resource depletion, and other circumstances. If some of these projections come true, local resource management systems could be in for some challenges.

The idea for Library Community Network (LCN) was born in 2010 while thinking about sustainability and the Transition Network which was (and is) active in several countries, the US included.

See transitionnetwork.org and transitionus.org.

Beginning in England, the “Transition Towns” movement offers a set of activities or initiatives that can help communities prepare for social, environmental, and economic change.

To prepare for any kind of change, communities will need an evolving information resource and an engaged population. Preparing communities for an unknown future of environmental change, advancing at an unknown rate, can place communities in a precarious position. How to motivate and keep a community engaged to meet these as yet unrealized events is a challenge: begin too late, and miss the boat, begin too early and risk participant burn-out.

That’s where local nonprofit resources and the LCN come in.

I wrote an article,  “Public Libraries: How To Save Them” published by the American Library Association’s, Public Library magazine, July/August issue, 2014, and began thinking about how to address issues of public library relevancy and environmental instability. How to address these things in a way that is practical and useful.

As it turns out, an important piece of this process is already in place, bricks, mortar, and all: the public library – the information resource center of a community. Community resources are in place as well: nonprofit organizations.  Connecting the two –  resource providers with information managers – became the objective.

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