28 Nov Librarians help create new library at local Women’s Center
Allyson Mower, Associate Librarian, and Rachel Blume, Assistant Librarian, are helping to build a library at YWCA Utah as part of their faculty service expectations at the University of Utah. YWCA is an organization that is “dedicated to empowering women by helping to create a kind, affirming, nonviolent community that welcomes women of every age, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, background, and circumstance; offers them safety, encouragement, support, and opportunity; and helps strengthen them into wellness in every aspect of their lives.”
Allyson Mower had toured the facility a few years ago and found the site had a clothing boutique and a prayer room, but lacked a library. She then drafted a collection development policy and initiated conversations with a board member and full-time YWCA staff members. Beginning earlier this year in July, Allyson and Rachel began placing books on shelves.
Information science professor Lynn Westbrook has found that individuals facing personal crises have information needs that differ from everyday information needs. Staff members of YWCA Utah expertly understand and work to address those needs. The missing piece was having a dedicated librarian who could create a curated list of relevant content and use that to sort through the existing book donations. They would also need to talk with staff, residents, and members about their information needs and continually stock shelves for easy, consistent, and regular access to information. “The mission of YWCA Utah is to empower women and families. Books and reading are essential in meeting that mission,” explains Allyson. “We even have plans to start reading clubs, too!”
Allyson and Rachel hope that this library will help foster the intellectual freedom of women, both those who reside at the YWCA Utah and those who are members, and support the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women.