ALA, Harwood Institute announce 2016 Public Innovators Lab for Libraries community engagement training opportunity
CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation have announced their fourth annual training opportunity to help libraries strengthen their role as agents of positive change in their communities.
The Public Innovators Lab for Libraries will be held Oct. 19 to 21, 2016, at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Librarians, community partners and stakeholders in libraries of all types — public, academic, school and specialty libraries — are encouraged to register.
Through discussions, hands-on activities, and collaborations with like-minded library professionals, participants will learn to:
- tap libraries' natural values to contribute to the greater good and bring their communities together;
- surface people’s shared aspirations for their communities and help bring them to life;
- convene and lead productive, insightful community conversations; and
- become stewards of public knowledge.
Participants must register online by Oct. 14. The cost is $1,495 for the first person from an organization and $995 for each additional person. Team participation is encouraged.
For more information, visit www.ala.org/LTC/training.
The ALA-Harwood Institute partnership is based on the idea that libraries, by virtue of their trusted position in their communities, are uniquely suited to help solve challenges of all types, from illiteracy to drug epidemics to distrust in government.
The Public Innovators Lab for Libraries is based on Harwood’s Turning Outward approach, which emphasizes making the community the reference point for getting things done. This shift in orientation is achieved through practical steps: taking measures to better understand communities; being proactive about community issues; and putting community ambitions first.
Libraries and library professionals around the country are already using the Harwood Institute’s approach to:
- lead conversations with community members to better understand their goals and concerns;
- develop library strategic plans that benefit the library and the greater community;
- connect with underserved segments of the library’s service area;
- overcome political gridlock; and
- create professional development opportunities that meet the library system’s needs.
For more success stories of libraries using the Turning Outward approach, visit www.ala.org/LTC.
Library professionals interested in LTC and the Turning Outward approach may also attend two programs at the Public Library Association (PLA) 2016 Conference, to be held from April 5 to 9 in Denver, Colorado. Conference registration is required.
- “Extraordinarily Engaged: How Three Libraries are Transforming Their Communities” (Thursday, April 7, 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.) will explore how three public libraries — Columbus (Wis.) Public Library, Red Hook (N.Y.) Public Library, and the Spokane County (Wash.) Library District — used the Turning Outward approach to engage people in conversations, identify aspirations, and make a difference in their communities.
- “Extraordinary at Any Size: Tips for Keeping Your Library Relevant and Your Community Engaged for Every Library Size” will feature talks from Los Angeles Public Library, San Jose (Calif.) Public Library, and the Spokane County (Wash.) Library District, who will share how they shifted internal communications, focus and training to better respond to community issues.
The Public Innovators Lab for Libraries is offered as part of the ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative. The initiative addresses a critical need within the library field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
About The Harwood Institute
The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., that teaches and coaches people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. The institute is guided by Richard C. Harwood, whose transformational work during the past 25 years has spread to thousands of communities nationally and worldwide, from small towns to large cities.