Alive With Knowledge: Engaging Communities Through Living Libraries
This paper provides a discussion of the development and implementation of living library programs in the context of creating and fostering community engagement in the library. It provides a discussion of oral information transmission, and examines the inclusivity of living library program models. Possible criticisms of the living library as a concept are addressed, and potential benefits in relation to learning, alternate modes of knowledge transmission and library-community relations are discussed. This discussion is framed by some of the practical aspects of living libraries in terms of different program types, organizational models, and issues of implementation. The paper concludes that living libraries can be used to expand library services though engaging and fostering discourse within the community, and these programs have the potential to increase the awareness of library services and promote the role of the library within a wider social context.
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