This week, we were supposed to go and check out everyone's space that was created for Part 3 of the Culture Project.
My group decided to create a very simple, streamlined space where everything was labeled in English and Spanish. We created posters/flyers in Spanish and English, labeled each section, and used selection criteria that allowed us to choose titles that would be appealing to Hispanic/Latino patrons, whether that meant the book/media was about current issues, written by a Hispanic author, etc.
One of the spaces that I really liked was the LGBTQ library space. I think this is a really hard group to serve, especially without getting any flack from outside community groups. I think a neat way to make sure you include books/resources for this group is to have them cross-referenced as LGBTQ but also as whatever else they are: adult fiction, young adult, and children's. That is exactly what this group did. I especially liked the videos section. I think videos are really helpful for this group, in particular.
I liked the space created for Seniors, but I still feel like it was a bit stereotypical of your traditional elderly person. It was very creative, with sections on travel, retirement flyers, grandchildren, etc. But what about those elderly patrons who don't care about any of that? What about elderly patrons who are still working, have no grandchildren, and are looking to the library for other resources? Shouldn't there be a fiction section that highlights literature about people their age? I know that, personally, I identify more with literature about people my age....so there have to be seniors that feel the same way, right?
The homeless space was one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. I loved the wall with mirrors and the poetry hung on the wall. I liked that they included recreational reading as well as resources for the homeless AND books about homelessness. That was really awesome. Include a little bit of everything because these people are not just homeless; they're also real people. I loved the posters. It just made this feel like a really welcoming space. Bravo.
I wanted so much more from the teen space. I loved the idea of including books written by teens. I think that was really neat. I think a lot of research went into creating this space, but I was missing the technology that I think a library needs to include to really reach teenagers these days. E-books would be great to incorporate here. Something about Overdrive access? I don't know. I just felt like it was lacking.
As I see these other libraries, I'm thinking of what else I could've added in our library. I feel like everyone kind of went with just the stereotypes of what they thought each culture would like, and they didn't think of these people as more than their culture. I know the point of the project was to really think about how to serve the culture, but can't you get so caught up in their culture that you miss who they are as a person? It makes me think back to the personal cultural narrative. There were so many things that make me who I am. I don't think trying to serve one aspect of my culture would be beneficial for me. I don't know (just spitballing ideas).