One of the biggest barriers that community organizations face when doing outreach in the community is unfamiliarity with all of the resources available. Safety net clinics, library programs, and student volunteer organizations often risk duplicating their efforts because they don’t know who they can ask for help.
To address this issue, and start the conversation of how community organizations in Gainesville, Florida can come together to educate the community about HIV/AIDS, the Health Science Center Libraries hosted a “Collaborating with Strangers” workshop at the Alachua County Library Partnership, a local library that shares space with a resource center that connects families with various support programs.
The project team invited representatives from relevant community organizations, as well as individuals interested in HIV/AIDS outreach. At the Collaborating with Strangers workshop, a facilitated process created by UF Libraries’ Grants Manager, Bess de Farber, participants listened to talks about the power of and best practices for developing collaborative partnerships and the Health Science Center Libraries’ HIV/AIDS Community Outreach project.
Participants then spent time meeting and learning about one another through a speed dating style process, aided by profile signs describing their organization’s assets and interests. Finally, the group joined together to discuss the most important HIV/AIDS information needs of healthcare professionals and the public, which the Health Science Center Libraries will use to guide the instructional videos that the team plans to create.
Maggie Ansell, MLIS
Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian
Health Science Center Libraries
University of Florida
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