Part A: Organization Structure
The organization at my placement is as follows: My placement is with the Municipality of Innisfil and so it is organized like a corporation as well as having some political organization as well. There is a corporate structure with the CAO and the Managing team at the top followed by the other departments who all have their own leadership organization within themselves. The Records Management Department, which consists of the intern and the Records Manager (a singular person).
There is also the Mayor and the Council but I haven’t gotten too much into the political side of my job yet.
I learnt this from my orientation as well as a Clerks Services Department meeting that I attended a couple weeks ago. From what I picked up from these encounters, I was able to piece together this information. I also looked to the website to get all of the department official titles but they didn’t break it down any further.
Part B: Workshop Report- Growing Relationships: Implementing Programming for Barriered Youth
In general, my workshop was about the Collingwood library and the programming that they have to help the youth in their area because they have a lot of younger people who are mental health issues as well as issues at home (criminal records, food security, addiction exposure, literacy issues, lack of stable housing, lack of positive adult role models etc.). More specifically, they wanted to give examples of things that they as a library have done to helped their youth, to give others some ideas or starting points for helping the youth in their respective communities and libraries.
I thought this was interesting first of all because Collingwood is very close to Barrie, where I am from and plan on living, and so I wanted to know what it was like working in a library closer to home. I also thought the topic was interesting in general, working with customers that are troubled is always difficult but especially younger patrons because of their age and the limitations that come along with it (difficulty getting transportation, difficulty getting access to shelters and food banks because of age, cannot get a job because of age or lack of education, difficulty because of teen pregnancy etc.). I really wanted to see the solutions, and how they got to those solutions, especially in a smaller town library with a smaller budget.
All in all, I think what I learned was that connecting with other organizations and building those long-term partnerships is the most important. Getting involved and making connections in the community can only help you in the long run with programming, funding, and getting volunteers. I also learned that as a group, teens are transient and also always evolving. You have to be aware and also morph with them to create what they are looking for in their public space. You want to be an advocate for them as well as give them their own voice and also blend the traditional with the non-traditional youth users to break down the “us vs. them” mentality.
I had a lot of fun at the OLA Super Conference and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about libraries and how they work!