Community Magic: Librarians for the Community

Community Magic brings together individuals who share an interest in the practice of using information as a tool for people to help people…

THE GOAL is to dramatically improve the economic and social condition of the people of Philadelphia.

THE METHOD to achieve this goal is to empower people to help their community members connect with people in their own community and across the City.

THE FOUR MAIN OBJECTIVES that we have identified so far:

1) ENCOURAGE hundreds of people to do the following:

  • Listen to community members to discover their skills, their interests and their needs.
  • Write down, or remember, what they learn from the individuals in their community.
  • Help community members make appropriate, mutually beneficial connections with each other and with people in other communities.

2) ESTABLISH learning teams:

  • Study how helpful people can implement the use of social media and the Internet for the benefit of members of their communities.
  • Practice and improve the art of connecting people to each others needs, skills, and interests.
  • Hold regular meetings to share techniques for listening, recording and exchanging information.
  • Share what has been learned with additional community-based advocates across the city.

3) DESIGN online and off-line information sharing tools to:

  • Easily record appropriate information of the needs, skills and interests of community members.
  • Provide helpers with online search tools to allow geographical and context-appropriate retrieval of pertinent information about community members everywhere.
  • Provide helpers with online notification of new results of searches without overloading them with irrelevant information.

4) MAINTAIN an effective communication environment balanced with privacy:

  • Provide appropriate anonymity and associated privacy protections to allow information to be shared safely and beneficially among all concerned.