"Turning Outward": How Well Do You Know Your Community?

ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation are working together to give libraries the tools to achieve real change in their communities. Here, Alice Knapp shares how she has brought the "turning outward" approach to her Connecticut library.

Libraries at the Center of Civic Dialogue: Hosting Public Policy Discussions

By Susan Graseck – Director, The Choices Program – Brown University

De Tocqueville’s assertion — that democracy succeeds through the democratic outlook of individual citizens — is the prerequisite condition for enlightened citizenship. It is the condition under which citizens make informed, value-based choices, and then share them with their government so that wiser and more democratic policies will be enacted.

Get in the Loop!: How Library Students Can Use Programming Librarian

As librarians, we tend to be a goal-driven bunch. Whether it is launching a new program, increasing circulation statistics, improving patron experiences, or developing further skills through training or conferences, it always seems that the library community at large is in a constant state of self-improvement. Perhaps this need for self-reflection stems from the changing space and use of the library, or is a side effect of doing more with less as the impact of the financial downturn hits libraries everywhere.

Making the Case for Library Programming

Even though library programming is widespread, programmers still find themselves faced with having to persuade the library administration, board members, colleagues, and even patrons and the public of its value. As different agencies and library departments compete for limited funding, it’s important to be able to articulate why cultural programming is worth the investment.

Evaluation of Cultural Programs

There’s a lot of buzz about evaluation these days. Are programs effective? Do they make the library, and by extension, the community, a better place? Do they accomplish what we intend and/or do they sometimes have other, maybe even better, unintended consequences?

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