ALA, Harwood Institute announce 2017 Public Innovators Lab for Libraries community engagement training opportunity

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. 18 to 20, 2017, 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 participate.

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 Friday, Oct. 13. 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 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 http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/libraries-transforming-communities/case-studies .

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 58,000 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 an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit. Its mission is to combat the divisions and inwardness in society by teaching, coaching, and inspiring people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. The Harwood Institute's Turning Outward approach has been adopted by the world’s largest nonprofit networks and is utilized globally by communities in more than 40 countries worldwide. People and organizations that Turn Outward create more impact and are more relevant to the communities they serve. Learn more at http://www.theharwoodinstitute.org/.

Sarah Ostman
Communications Manager
sostman@ala.org
ALA Public Programs Office
312-280-5061