Help Us Learn More about Your Civic Engagement Programs
Angela Thullen | August 25, 2011
The ALA Center for Civic Life is mapping civic engagement activities in libraries. We need your help! If you haven’t already filled out our survey, it’s not too late. We are interested in learning more about more about civic/community engagement activities in libraries. We have already heard from public, school, academic, government, state and special libraries that are undertaking exciting programs that engage their communities in civic life. Let’s hear from you as well.
Please download and fill out the survey (.docx), then return it to Nancy Kranich at email@example.com as soon as possible. You can also download a sample survey (.docx) so you can get a better sense of the type of efforts of interest. We greatly appreciate your assistance and hope you’ll encourage others to complete the survey as well.
ALA launched the ALA Center for Civic Life (CCL) in 2010 in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation in order to promote community engagement and foster public deliberation through libraries. The center is building the capacity of libraries and librarians to help citizens get more engaged in the civic life of their communities. Experienced moderators train librarians from different types of libraries to convene and moderate deliberative forums and frame issues of local and national concern, following the approach of the National Issues Forums Institute and other dialogue and deliberation organizations.
For many years, ALA has worked with libraries to encourage public deliberation, hosting moderator training sessions and other programs related to community building and engagement. Prior to the founding of CCL, members of the Center’s advisory committee worked with the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable to frame the issue of privacy. That framing was part of the Office of Intellectual Freedom Privacy Revolution launched in the spring of 2010. The new center trained librarians to convene and moderate deliberative forums about privacy in their communities.
Librarians are urged to complete the survey so the center can use the data to map their civic activities, highlight the important work undertaken by libraries, and create linkages among similarly minded local and national groups. Recently, the center partnered with a number of civic organizations to foster community engagement, among them the American Democracy Project (AASCU), America Speaks, the Urban Libraries Council, and Journalism that Matters. CCL will continue to identify local partners involved with civic life as well as link up with national organizations pursuing similar civic goals.
For more information, contact Mary Ghikas, firstname.lastname@example.org, ALA Senior Associate Executive Director, or Nancy Kranich, email@example.com, founder and chair of the ALA Center for Civic Life Advisory Committee.
Angela Thullen is Program Officer/Communications for the ALA Public Programs Office.