Skokie Public Library's Civic Lab is a pop-up experience held within the library that offers information, activities and discussion on issues facing our community. Topics have included race, media literacy, endangered species, net neutrality and Standing Rock.
The goal of Civic Lab is not to change anyone’s mind, but to provide patrons with evidence-based, credible resources and information that have been vetted by our staff. These are things that one would probably receive if they were to ask a question at the reference desk; it’s just a different model of delivering information.
We emphasize that we are non-partisan — but we are not neutral. We take a lot of care in cultivating resource lists that correspond to those ethics.
Labs are generally held once a week, with two different topics a month. We try to establish establish various points of entry into a topic. Some people really want to engage with staff, so the pop-ups are staffed the entire time. Others may wish to write a note or take a handout. View Civic Lab handouts.
Skokie supports civic engagement in the library by refuting the idea that libraries are "neutral."