CHICAGO — “Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Classes, and Nonprofits,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, leads readers through a unique framework that breaks down barriers to collaboration while also kindling long-lasting enthusiasm. Interaction with strangers cultivates creativity and provides opportunities for joining forces to achieve great ends. However most people tend to avoid talking or working with people they do not know, whether in the library, a classroom, or in academic and nonprofit settings. And to do so is to short-circuit much of the creative potential that is so necessary for innovation, and that organizational stakeholders crave. Enter CoLAB. Developed and presented by Bess G. de Farber at workshops across the country, and used by co-authors April Hines and Barbara J. Hood to successfully spur collaboration at the University of Florida (including faculty-librarian, librarian-librarian, librarian-student, faculty-faculty, student-student, and student-librarian-community member), it showcases the power of face-to-face conversations. This new manual includes:
- testimonials from workshop participants that demonstrate the benefits of a Collaborating with Strangers workshop;
- step by step guidance on every aspect of organizing and presenting a CoLAB workshop;
- helpful photographs and diagrams that show prep and workshops in action;
- ready to use surveys for assessment before and after the workshop;
- grant proposal development techniques for bringing two or more organizations together on a project;
- pointers on how to adapt the workshop for ice-breakers, conference programs, or classrooms; and
- samples of workshop promotion pieces that can be adapted as needed.
de Farber, a nonprofit management specialist, is the grants manager for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. Author of “Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Practical Guide for Librarians,” she has provided grantsmanship instruction throughout the past 28 years and has led efforts to secure millions in grant funding for nonprofits and academic libraries. Hines is the journalism and mass communications librarian for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. She has participated on several grant projects and leads the Collaborating with Strangers In and Outside Mass Communications project sponsored by Procter & Gamble. Hood is the director of communications for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. She has participated on several grant-awarded project teams, most notably the Institute for Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants project “The Panama Canal—Preserving a Legacy, Celebrating a Centennial, Leveraging an Extraordinary Human Achievement.”
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