Libraries Foster Community Engagement Community
ALA Center for Civic Life
The Conversation Continues:
Hosting Public Issues Forums @ your library
The Place Where Democracy Happens
Learn to convene and moderate community discussions in
4 free monthly online workshops presented through ProgrammingLibrarian.org with support from the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.
An Introduction to Convening Forums @ your library
Tuesday, February 28
Now archived at:
Moderating Forums @ your library--Nuts and Bolts
Tuesday, March 27, 4:00-5:00 EST; 3:00 – 4:00 CST; 1:00 – 2:00 PST
Now Archived at:
Webinar # 3
Practicing Moderating @ your library
Tuesday, April 24
Now Archived at:
Convening Forums @ your library--Nuts and Bolts
Tuesday, May 22
Guides for Community Discussions:
National Issues Forums (NIF) and Others
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT; 3:00 – 4:00 pm CDT; 1:00 – 2:00 PDT
Downloadable resources below
The American Library Association’s Center for Civic Life, launched in 2010 with the Kettering Foundation, promotes community engagement and fosters public deliberation through libraries. The Center is building the capacity of libraries and librarians to help citizens engage in the civic life of their communities.
We need your help to get 100 signatures of ALA members!
Please add your e-signature to our petition to form/renew an ALA Membership Initiative Group entitled: Libraries Foster Community Engagement.
Sign the e-petition at: http://www.ala.org/CFApps/epetition/index.cfm?pid=D086C2BB10BC9B4D
Hope you'll forward this petition to your colleagues.
--Nancy Kranich, Petition Initiator
Libraries Foster Community Engagement MIG purpose and goals.
Libraries Foster Community Engagement Membership Initiative Group (MIG) will provide an ALA organizational home for anyone interested in the work of library-led community engagement. It is a community of practice where participants share experiences facilitating public forums, fostering community and civic engagement, and leading change in communities. Participants will also hear about professional development opportunities and library experiences related to convening, dialogue facilitation, forum moderation, deliberative dialogue and local partnerships to help communities understand issues of concern and solve problems together. This MIG will involve participants from the former Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement MIG, and will include those who advise the ALA Center for Civic Life and those who participate in the Libraries Transforming Communities project. Among the goals for this group are:
- Rename the Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group: “Libraries Foster Community Engagement.”
- Build on the strong work of the earlier MIG begun in 2004.
- Provide a community of practice for those interested in the overarching work of building community relationships (work served by the ALA Center for Civic Life, the Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement MIG, the Libraries Transforming Communities project and other future and past work) that is widely accessible and dynamic for as large a group of participants as possible
- Ensure that the various cohorts who are completing the Harwood Institute Public Innovator labs have an opportunity to share their experiences and resources with their fellow participants
20 people met at ALA Annual in Las Vegas to discuss how we can form a community of practice among people who want to advance community engagement through libraries.
Here's a quick summary of the conversations at our June 29, 2014 meeting:
- Community of practice
- A push for leadership to get this group going
- Hold a conference call soon to discuss next steps
- Academic libraries
- Great ideas individually
- Need to collaborate with like minded institutions
- Community connecting
- Local information sources
- Connect with other communities
- Talk together outside conferences
- Youth engagement
- HPA--good synthesis of using real life situations
- Online social media presence model
- Social contract is that we'll listen
At ALA Midwinter and online, we'll keep working toward creating a community of practice to advance library engagement with communities in town, at school, on campus and online. To learn more about these issues, here's an updated bibliography that is also posted on the ALA Civic Engagement blog at: http://discuss.ala.org/civicengagement/
We welcome participation from the broader library community and beyond.
--Nancy Kranich, Convener
Here is a program you might want to attend at Annual
Singapore Libraries-Trend Setters in Community Engagement and Collaboration
Monday, June 30, 2014 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Las Vegas Convention Center- N111
Come hear how the innovative, award-winning National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) has embarked on successful efforts such as Read@Schools and SURE (Source, Understand, Research and Evaluate) to encourage reading and through public libraries across the country to raise the level of information literacy nationwide. In addition to learning how NLB works collaboratively with government and community groups to achieve societal goals within Singapore, NLB will discuss its leading efforts in the Asia Pacifica project, modeled after the Europeana, to share digital materials from libraries, archives and other content institutions in the Asia Pacific
In case you missed it -- the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) held a great webinar yesterday, "The Role of Libraries and Museums in Comprehensive Community Development."
Here is a link to the archived webinar: http://www.instituteccd.org/resources/5029
And a June 9 LISC article, "A new role for local libraries and museums": http://www.instituteccd.org/news/5016
Featured in both the webinar and article is Matthew Poland, CEO of Hartford Public Library, one of ALA's Libraries Transforming Communities Public Innovators Cohort members. Matthew talks about how HPL works with immigrant populations, both by connecting them with resources and as a catalyst for conversation between the immigrants and their receiving communities.
Also represented: IMLS and the Pittsburgh's Children's Museum.
CHICAGO — All communities have challenges. Library professionals are uniquely positioned to help conquer them — given the right tools.
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to offer a series of sessions at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference that will help librarians leverage their trusted position in the community to engage people on issues that matter.
The 2014 ALA Annual Conference will take place June 26 to July 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.
In four “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community” sessions, library professionals will gain practical tools to aid in decision-making, planning and group facilitation and will discuss methods to remain engaged and rejuvenated professionally and personally. Each stand-alone session focuses on a single tool; taken together, they become a powerful framework for engaging community and leading change.
- “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community: Aspirations” (8:30 to 10 a.m., Saturday, June 28) will help librarians focus on community aspirations, identify next steps for change and create an aspirations-based story for their community as a starting point for library action.
- “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community: Turn Quiz” (1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28) will introduce librarians to the “Turn Quiz” tool, enabling them to assess the focus of their efforts in the community as they shift their orientation from internal to external.
- “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community: Intentionality” (8:30 to 10 a.m., Sunday, June 29) will enable participants to test the external orientation and mindfulness of their community engagement choices and decisions.
- “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community: Sustaining Yourself” (1 to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, June 29) will help librarians personally map the components that feed their motivation and commitment for community work.
All four gatherings will take place in Las Vegas Convention Center room S223.
Similar sessions were previously offered at the Public Library Association 2014 Conference in March, where they drew a large number of attendees.
“I think this (approach) can help libraries engage more communities and move libraries toward a brighter future,” wrote one PLA attendee of the “Turning Outward” sessions.
The sessions are offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), an ALA initiative that seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change agents. LTC addresses a critical need within the library field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways. The initiative is made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“ALA started the Libraries Transforming Communities initiative because we believe that librarians’ roles as core community leaders is vital to the success of libraries and the communities that support them,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “When we examine library-led community engagement and innovation, we see a domino effect of positive results, from stronger relationships with local civic agencies to an increased investment in collaboration, education, health and well-being.”
The community engagement techniques shared through LTC are based on the Harwood Institute’s “turning outward” practice, which emphasizes shifting the institutional and professional orientation of libraries and librarians from internal to external.
In April, ALA announced 10 U.S. public libraries — representing the range of American communities in terms of size, location, ethnic and racial diversity and socioeconomic status — that will take part in the LTC Public Innovators Cohort, an 18-month, intensive training program in which library professionals will put the “turning outward’ method to work on challenges in their communities.
ALA Public Programs Office (PPO)
- See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/219117#sthash.l6Y3cTMG.dpuf
The webinar, "Hosting and Leading Community Conversations"--created for the Libraries Transforming Communities Public Innovators Cohort on June 24, 2014--is now archived and available on the LTC Resources for Library Professionals page: http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/libraries-transforming-communit....
This webinar explains how to apply the content from the Community Conversation Guide (also available on the Resources page) in order to set up conversations that will engage members of the community and generate Public Knowledge.