Progress report by monkey6


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Progress report 2: Week ¾- 8 July 2002-20 July 2002. These two weeks were a good mixture of the theoretical as well as the practical application of the themes. 1. Lectures: • We started the week with a lecture by Paul Adams of the East St Louis Project. This project is a very good example of how there can be coordination between the community and the University for the improvement of the conditions within a community. • East St. Louis is a distressed community with very high unemployment figures. The University got involved and after asking the community what they need it was determined that the biggest problem is the digital divide. The University started on the Prairienet project where they sourced used computers and repair and distribute them to the community, Computers were also placed in strategic areas to be available to the community. Training is also provided on a continuous basis. • Janice Harrington of the Champaign Public library presented a very creative and lively talk on the services to minority groups and once again it was emphasized that you start of by asking the community what they want, never decide on their behalf they know the best. • The Dean of the Graduate Library Science department put the role and changing scenarios of Public Libraries into perspective with her excellent lecture on the paradigm shift within libraries. • Once again the continuous change management series contribute positively to the development of leaders within the library field, with subjects such as conflict management, negotiation skills, leadership styles, creative management, identify your own style as manager only broadened our own horizons. The lectures on learning styles and presentation styles both contributed very positively to my own development. • Then we met Terry Weech, what a delightful presenter very knowledgeable and interesting. He demystified the concept of networks to such an extent that the presence of the gray squirrel now makes sense to all of us. • Gary Olson a well-known architect gave us a very good overview of how to plan and built library facilities from his own experiences. • A very informative presentation on the chat reference possibilities within a library did open up numerous possibilities



of how to implement this service within my own library structures. Two subjects that were covered extensively were- fundraising and technology in the libraries. All the presenters did give us very valuable information that we can apply to our own situations. A follow up lecture on the importance of the correct way of grant writing did underline the correct procedures to follow to be successful. The project coordinator demonstrated the IRIS project to us; this database is a valuable source of information for fundraising information.

2. Visits: To complement the lectures we had very interesting visits; • Lincoln trail library systems- for the networking • Africana library • Illinois Fire Services Institute • St Louis- East St Louis- project and visits to the new East St Louis library as well as the Washington Park library- housed in an old nightclub. • Various libraries to evaluate the different architecture styles. • A visit to the Amish community and meeting of the Mayor of Arthur made me realize that America is also a land of contrasts. • On Saturday we had a wonderful sightseeing day in Chicago and did go to the 103 rd floor of the Sears tower, what an experience. Once again I was amazed about how much there is to learn and what possibilities are there, not only do we receive lots of information but the personal development will only be noticeable later on when we return to our work environments. Karin Kitching (JC) Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Alberton SDC

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