QUESTION: Preserving cultural & community heritage by supporting libraries & museums in low income communities & poor countries

question / pregunta: 


Is there a progressive national or international organization that focuses on providing support and advocacy for libraries, museums and the preservation of community/cultural heritage in low income communities in the U.S. and poor countries in the world. Thanks!


Answer posted by:

I haven't come across any organizations that exactly fit your scope, but here are some ideas.

1. You're probably already familiar with the advocacy initiatives of the major U.S. professional organizations for libraries and museums, respectively:

American Library Association's Office for Library Advocacy

and the

Speak up for Museums initiative from the American Association of Museums.

2. Cultural heritage is often embedded in the built environment. With that in mind, you might consider organizations that deal with historic preservation (which, in the U.S., usually refers to protecting "historic" buildings). Historic preservation advocates may not always consider themselves "progressive," but their principles tend to include things like opposing eminent domain and commercial development if built culture is at risk.

Some of the best places to look for historic preservation resources are sites for historic preservation graduate programs. To find lots of these programs, type this (including all punctuation) into a search engine: "historic preservation"

Here are three other strong collections of links:

Historic Preservation resources from the National Agricultural Library's Rural Information Center

PreserveNet, from Cornell

Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation - not from an educational institution, but provides some links that are international in scope

3. There are also "centers for community development" (or some variation on that phrase) at other educational institutions that publish reports and, in turn, advocate for cultural institutions (often locally as opposed to nationally). Try:

Pratt Center for Community Development

Center for Creative Community Development at Williams, which seeks to analyze the economic impact of cultural organizations (nationwide) on their surrounding communities. Some interesting stuff.

Some Resources

While not quite progressive, here is what the OLC (Ohio Library Council) considered as "best practices". This is a list of resources for outreach to many different minority populations and may fall under the "support" part of your question.
-OLC's Best Practices

ILA(Illinois Library Association) with the ALA(American Library Association) put together this pamphlet on Library Advocacy. This is from 2004. This is more of an instructional manual on how to preform library advocacy, not how to find groups that preform library advocacy.
-Library Advocacy

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