Dreamer, Do-gooder, Do-er

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Not to disparage anyone, but I do have a reaction to do-gooder work, of which I also partake: much of it seems futile. For example, the number of websites I find presenting great ideas for community development and sustainability – like anyone looks at independent websites anymore: the days of blogging are well-over.

As most of us realize, it’s now all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and many other social sites, many of which I too am too old to recognize.

So how does one approach managing sustainable community development? I have nothing to say in regards to this, I only have my idea. Plus to say, one of the things I like about my idea, is it relies on existing resources, not on developing new ones. Or even creating a program that educates residents in proper behavior.

It is not an answer, but it is a start that may proceed in a useful direction:

A directory listing of locally available resources – services, activities – that are provided by nonprofit organizations; the directory is maintained by the local public library, what was once referred to as the reference librarian. Still could be that person, assuming the library still has one.

What’s so special about this directory listing? Like we need yet another list of anything, what with Google and all. Nothing, really. I mean, it could be useful in itself: information sorted by categories, add an index of key words. That’s it.

But it’s what you do with the directory – how you use it, that makes all the difference.

This is about relationships: what any community development needs in order to succeed on any level. In this case, relationships between the library, the nonprofits, and the community of citizens. Bringing resources into closer contact with a community of people is – or should be – an interactive process: the librarian contacts the organization to establish the directory listing, and off you go from there.

The citizen-patrons are already connected to the library, now connect the nonprofits to the library, and from there connect the community to the nonprofit resources. How?

Here’s a partial list:

The annual nonprofit festival
Displays
Free meeting space for organizations
Nonprofit conference
Nonprofit event board
Display tables & video
Nonprofit collaboration

See, Library Community Network, for more details.