What Is LCN?

Library Community Network (LCN) is a range of program ideas designed to promote the resources that contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of a community.

Promoting more effective networking between public libraries and nonprofit organizations can lead to enhanced appreciation of what makes up a community and communities functioning in ways that satisfy more people.

The centerpiece of this program is a directory of nonprofit organizations serving the local community. We have created one as a prototype – a functioning educational model – to illustrate how the mechanics of a directory might work, but really, there is much more to the process of networking.

Here is the link: Peekskill Library Community Network

Why libraries and nonprofits? Libraries are valued for their skill in information gathering and dissemination, and organizations are valued for the content they provide; both are valued for the active concern they have for local community. Pairing these two is both useful and practical: one for having the potential to make culture and services more visible, and the other for enabling individuals to better satisfy their needs.

Beginning in early 2016, the Field (public) Library in Peekskill New York, began using the Community Services Directory format offered on a dedicated website. During this trial period usage ranged from approximately 200 to 800 unique hits per month (The city of Peekskill population is approximately 25,000).

How does LCN work?

Local groups and organizations offering activities and services to the community are presented in a listing, displayed with descriptions searchable by location, category, and keyword.

What’s the benefit?

Local nonprofit organizations have information, experience, and commitment in addressing issues that directly impact a community. LCN just makes it easier for information to flow between these organizations and the public providing the community with greater awareness of and access to these resources.

For the individual, having this access means quicker and more accurate responses when seeking basic services, social contact, interest groups, hobbyists, or activities. A comprehensive resource network can also encourage nonprofit organizations to think and work collaboratively. The directory offers community organizations increased exposure and interaction with participants, potential volunteers, and contributors.

Mission.

  • Make it easier for everyone to know what nonprofit resources are available.
  • Encourage collaboration between local organizations.
  • Enable local communities to better respond to ongoing environmental changes.
  • Make visible concern, communication, and implementation – what nonprofit organizations are good at and have in common with each other.
  • Bring residents into closer contact with each other and their community.

Ripple effects.

  • LCD offers access to information on a wide range of interests to better serve community needs and address community issues.
  • LCD can create opportunities for collaborative efforts between local nonprofits which may also include local government services.
  • LCD facilitates locating needed volunteers for local services.

There is much more to this – a book describing the full program is scheduled to be published late 2019.

Alan Pakaln
Please write me for information regarding participation in this project.