Non book materials are vital to the resources at the Women's Information Centre at the Vancouver YWCA.
Pamphlets, videos and serials are valuable for their current information."Pamphlets deserve respect here by either integrating with the main catalogue, or in a separate automated catalogue," said Arlene Higgs, the information centre's manager.
Some of the pamphlets are posted on the relevant bulletin boards organized by subject areas. These numerous bulletin boards encourage clients to browse leisurely. They focus on 11 different subject areas: child care, children & poverty, counseling & referral, employment & career, health & wellness, housing, international/multicultural issues, pregnancy, single mothers, violence against women, and youth leadership/mentorship.
Although most of the collection is non-circulating, pamphlets are one of the materials that clients can take away with them. Employment and housing issues are high interest areas for the YWCA's clients. The information centre will use pamphlets to refer women to other resources, like teen mom groups and battered women support services.
As a gathering place for women, the comfortable environment of the library is based on an open floor plan without many dividing walls. The workstations are placed in close proximity to a large table, which serves also as a meeting area.
When a client first walks into the library, she sees couches which is a welcoming touch reminiscent of a private home. According to the librarian Arlene Higgs, some reference interviews with clients, like recent immigrants, might be anticipated to take longer than the other interviews. Thus, the comfortable and relaxing interior design was planned with the objective of a space for women to meet and discuss their information needs.
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On January 19, 1995 the YWCA officially opened it's new building and its new Women's Information Center. Here is June Love flanked by 2 of her volunteer staff, Jean Lederer (cataloger & automation consultant) and Neal Chan (Internet services).
Also from our photo archives is a picture of June and her grand-daughter during the moving and unpacking process in December 1994 and early January 1995. For anyone who has ever moved a collection .... this picture speaks for itself.
The YWCA's Women's Information Centre celebrated it's first birthday on January 19, 1996. Prior to January 19, 1995 the YW's small collection was located on the Board Room's shelves (in the building on the corner of Dunsmuir and Burrard Street). From September 1994 to February 1995 June Love, took a half time leave from the British Columbia Ministry of Women's Equality Library (in Victoria) to work with the Vancouver YWCA to develop a staffed Women's Information Centre (WIC) in the then yet to be completed new administration and health-fitness centre, on Hornby Street.
June weeded, stored and moved the existing collection and also did the initial collection development, facilities planning and furnishings work. The resource grew from a small non-formal part time "reading room", into a staffed "special library" and resources centre for women working and living in downtown Vancouver. Jean Lederer, did much of the initial cataloging and fine tuning of the automated database. At one point, between library consulting projects, Jean served as the interim librarian/manager.
These two photos give you a glimpse into the recent history of this resource.
This magazine is honored to have June Love and Arlene Higgs as our advisors in the area of women's resources and Jean Lederer as a cataloging and special libraries development advisor. Publisher