Small, mid-sized or rural public libraries can learn facilitation skills through a new ALA initiative.
ALA, the Public Library Association (PLA) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) invite public library staff serving small, mid-sized or rural communities to attend a free learning series on how to lead productive conversations.
Through Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, a two-year ALA initiative, library professionals have the opportunity to participate in three online learning sessions and one in-person workshop, all free of charge, between February and June 2018.
“I am excited to begin this process in our community, and I feel better equipped to do so,” said one attendee after a previous LTC: Models for Change learning session.
By attending these sessions, library professionals can learn how to convene critical conversations with people with differing viewpoints; connect more meaningfully with library users and better meet their needs; and translate conversation into action.
Registration is currently open for the following three webinars:
- In Session 1, participants will learn about the range of dialogue and deliberation approaches available; start thinking about their libraries’ engagement goals; learn about resources available to libraries and how to access them; and be introduced to the two dialogue and deliberation approaches that will be featured later in this webinar series. Register for “LTC: Introduction to Dialogue & Deliberation for Public Libraries Serving Small, Mid-sized and/or Rural Communities” (Wednesday, Feb. 28, 1 p.m. CST).
- In Session 2, participants will learn how they can use the Future Search process to enable large, diverse groups to validate a common mission, take responsibility for action, and develop a concrete action plan. Register for “LTC: Future Search” (Wednesday, April 25, 1 p.m. CST).
- In Session 3, participants will learn how Conversation Cafés can help community members learn more about themselves, their community or an issue; essential elements of hosting a Conversation Café; facilitation skills; and techniques for addressing challenges. Register for “LTC: Conversation Café” (Wednesday, May 23, 1 p.m. CST).
Each session will be recorded and archived for free on-demand viewing on ALA’s Programming Librarian website.
Those who view all three webinars, live or recorded, will be invited to attend a free pre-conference workshop exploring the Conversation Café approach in-depth at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 22, 2018. Space is limited, and preference will be given to public library professionals serving small, mid-sized or rural communities.
This learning series is the third offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change. Previous learning sessions, now available for free viewing, were offered for public libraries serving large or urban communities (recorded spring 2017) and academic libraries (recorded winter 2018).
LTC: Models for Change follows up on Libraries Transforming Communities, a two-year initiative offered in 2014-15 by ALA and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation that explored and developed the Harwood Institute's "Turning Outward" approach in public libraries. With this second phase of LTC, ALA broadens its focus on library-led community engagement by offering professional development training in community engagement and dialogue facilitation models created by change-making leaders.
Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change is made possible through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The initiative is offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.