Small/rural public libraries invited to apply for stipends for dialogue and deliberation workshop at 2018 ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Mon, 10/02/2017


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office


Public libraries that serve small and/or rural communities are invited to apply for a travel stipend to attend a one-day dialogue and deliberation pre-conference workshop at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Conversation Café Workshop for Public Libraries Serving Small, Mid-Sized and/or Rural Communities” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Attending the pre-conference is free, though space will be limited to 50 participants. Twenty-five participants from public libraries serving small and/or rural communities will be selected to receive an $800 stipend to help cover travel costs for one library employee.

Those interested in applying for a travel stipend should read the project guidelines and submit an online application by March 9, 2018. Applicants need not be ALA members.

This workshop is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change, an initiative of ALA and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). The initiative seeks to introduce libraries to various dialogue and deliberation approaches, enabling libraries to foster conversation and lead change in their communities.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change Series 3 highlights dialogue and deliberation models most useful for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities. (Learn more about our earlier offerings, Series 1 for public libraries serving large and/or urban communities or Series 2 for academic libraries.)

Before attending the in-person workshop in New Orleans, Series 3 participants must view three 90-minute online learning sessions in winter/spring 2018. The three free webinars, respectively, will offer an introduction to dialogue and deliberation; an overview of the Future Search approach; and an overview of the Conversation Café approach. Register for the three Series 3 webinars.

The in-person workshop will provide a deeper exploration of Conversation Café, allowing attendees to participate in a Café and discuss applications, opportunities and challenges of the approach.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant RE-40-16-0137-16.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 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 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

NCDD is an active U.S.-based network of thousands of innovators who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide and act together on today's toughest challenges. We serve as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source and a facilitative leader for an active community of practice centered around the practices of dialogue and deliberation. Our online Resource Center at connects people to 3,100 resources on group process and public engagement, and more than 30,000 people are subscribed to our monthly email updates. Our biennial national conferences are well-loved, high-energy events that bring together those who are committed to finding innovative ways to convene people to address seemingly intractable problems. To learn more or get involved, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.