Tips for Starting the Conversation
Engage your community members in the conversation about their aspirations and priorities and what they would like to see in their libraries.
- Identify target constituencies within your community
- Conduct World Café conversations (worldcafe.com)
- Conduct focus groups with targeted constituencies
- Do outreach to community groups
Engage your library staff and community in rethinking your library services/programs around these questions:
- What services does the library provide to help the community attain its goals/meet its priorities?
- What priorities is the library not meeting? What could the library do to help a community grow like it wants to grow?
- Who is not being served by the library?
- Who is not at the table in this discussion who should be at the table?
How can the library transform to meet these new expectations?
- Set realistic goals for changing to services/programs that more closely match the priorities of your community.
- Start with one goal:
- What outcome do you hope to achieve?
- Who needs to be involved?
- What resources/capacities are required?
- What can you stop doing to provide time for this goal?
- What will success look like?
- How long will it take before you see success?
How can you empower your community members who benefit from this goal to speak up for libraries?
- Develop a marketing campaign
- Ask for testimonials
- Recruit well-known spokespeople
- Provide a frame and opportunities – equipment setup; brochures for drop-in quotes; library blogs