Creative Communities - BC Library Conference 2015
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Friday, May 22 • 9:00am - 9:43am
F01 - Books Behind Bars LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre's (VIRCC) Wilkinson Jail has been in the Victoria region for 100 years, but until two years ago the jail had no formal, sustained contact with the public library system. This session will describe the work Greater Victoria Public Library has done in that time, first, to build a 2000 volume book deposit at VIRCC that supplies 300 inmates with regular reading materials (annual budget: $0.00); and, second, to build a rudimentary book request service which, in its early incarnation, filled over 1000 requests in just over a year (annual budget : $0.00). This project has been a rich and rewarding professional experience, and has many lessons for those of us who attempt to give outreach service to underserved and marginalized populations in general. Among these lessons: how to create a service when the demand is there but the resources and the roadmap are not; how to persuade established institutions to take a chance when the risks are significant and the payoffs are unclear; how to ask for help from the right people at the right time; and how to embrace the notion that pretty good services realized are better than perfect services talked about.


Carl Cavanagh

Carl Cavanagh has been a librarian for 25 years, in Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, and Victoria. He is currently a Public Service Librarian at the Greater Victoria Public Library in Victoria BC where, among other things, he does library outreach for regional agencies working on homelessness... Read More →

Friday May 22, 2015 9:00am - 9:43am PDT
Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Westminster Ballroom 2 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC