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SWON Visits - Brown County Public Library

Monday, June 10, 2013  
Posted by: Melanie
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How do you make yourself indispensable? According to Lynn Harden, "By jumping in and helping out."

If you want to learn about how to forge community partnerships, I can think of no better teacher than Lynn Harden, Director of the Brown County Public Library (Ohio).  Lynn has been the Director for 16 years and, like most rural directors, she knows a lot of her constituents by name.  Serving with County Commissioners may not seem to be an obvious fit, but when the question of how to staff the county law library on extremely reduced funding came up, Lynn was there with a suggestion.  She formed a cooperative with Southern State Community College and Chatfield College. They keep the law library open and in good condition.  This saves the county money and ensures professional services to patrons.

Another group Lynn is active with, the Adams-Brown Economic Opportunities, Inc. Their Mission: "To work toward the elimination of poverty or its causes; to help people and families achieve self-sufficiency; to provide safe, affordable housing for mental health clients, low-income families, elderly, and handicapped; and to meet the needs of the community."One of the most crucial aspects of their work is that the efforts of many parties is coordinated, reducing wastes and enabling every dollar to go further.

I asked Lynn how she got her start with community work.  She said she just went to every meeting for awhile.  This may mean meetings of the Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners, Rotary, PTA, and other local community development groups.

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