Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Outreach team can be found all over the city bringing Library services and information to Pittsburgh’s diverse communities. We recently asked Outreach library assistant L’Oreal Snell to describe what it’s like to transcend the library’s physical walls and meet Pittsburghers where they’re at: in neighborhoods, communities and schools.
I’m always on the move as a part-time Outreach library assistant. It involves not only serving the 90 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, but engaging with the micro-communities that may be underserved and in need of resources and services. I primarily serve adult communities, which means that I visit healthy active learning centers, homeless shelters and table at community events. Many of the events that I go to are community-based and ask for kid-friendly engaging activities. If I’m with older youth or adults, I try to bring something that involves writing or informing on culturally relevant to the community. I’m a huge fan of bringing crafts that relate to the audience which I’m serving. I really like clothespin crafts.
Tabling at events also involves bringing information about current events at or near the location. My goal for when I attend an event or partner program is being as informed (as I can) about what’s going on in the community and how I can provide resources or information that is attainable. On a day-to-day basis, I feel that my impact is important with the partnerships and programs that I liaison with. Engaging with other libraries, service-oriented programs and city partners relies on trust and consistency. It’s endearing to feel remembered by patrons who see you every year and know that they are gaining valuable knowledge and tools. It’s indicative of being a gatherer of information in the Outreach department and my role at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
By L’Oréal Snell
Part-time Library Assistant
Office of Programs and Partnerships (OPP)