Public Programs Office

Join fellow Building Common Ground project directors and representatives from the Public Insight Network (PIN), a project of American Public Media, to learn about effective collaboration with public media organizations and how to use PIN resources to learn more about the needs of your community.
Get answers to all of your questions about creating successful author programs for adults from experts at Random House, Inc., Macmillan, and HarperCollins Publishers. Learn who to contact at publishing houses, how far in advance you need to plan, if speaking fees are negotiable, how your library can be included in an author tour, and more.
This session in our civic engagement series covered the logistics and choices involved in planning to hold a forum—choosing the issue topic; setting the date; preparing the room and equipment; publicity; assigning moderators and recorders; participant registration; following up after the forum; and preparing issue-related resources for forum participants.
This webinar expanded on the “Guide to Creating a Common Ground Community Tour” by offering librarians a chance hear from Deirdre Colgan, the guide’s author, and pose any programming or technical questions they might have.
Kristin Boyett, a librarian at the University of North Texas Wills Library, will offer a snapshot of Edible Books events from years past at the university as well as provide tips for how to conduct a successful program, including how to alter it to suit various audiences and facilities. Learn how much fun it can be to attend and host!
The Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation webinar series will introduce a program model that targets young adults, using visual art as a springboard to civic engagement. Originally piloted in ten Illinois libraries in 2010, Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation is an activity- and discussion-based program model featuring a selection of curated and compelling images of American art. In this first session, learn more about this program model for young adults that uses visual art as a springboard to civic engagement.
The Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation webinar series will introduce a program model that targets young adults, using visual art as a springboard to civic engagement. Originally piloted in ten Illinois libraries in 2010, Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation is an activity- and discussion-based program model featuring a selection of curated and compelling images of American art. This second session will delve in to how to present and look at art.
The Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation webinar series will introduce a program model that targets young adults, using visual art as a springboard to civic engagement. Originally piloted in ten Illinois libraries in 2010, Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation is an activity- and discussion-based program model featuring a selection of curated and compelling images of American art. This session will focus on issues based discussions for teen audiences, using the Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation model.
The Pioneer Library System’s Virtual Library has been conducting classes on downloadable audiobooks and ebooks since January 2010. Initially they were lucky to get one staff person’s child to show up for class—and now their “Getting to Know Your eReader” courses are standing room only. So how do they do it? This webinar will look at how they started conducting these classes—staff, materials, and equipment involved—as well as best practices for promoting, designing, and carrying out eReader classes for the masses in your community.
Public deliberation is a process used to engage contentious, difficult issues from diverse perspectives. First in a four-part series, this session provided an introduction to deliberative conversations that public, academic, and school libraries are convening and how these discussions are repositioning libraries in their communities.
Please join us for this free, one-hour webinar about issue books, videos, and other guides available to help librarians bring their communities together to talk in productive, civil, and interesting ways. A growing and diverse array of nonpartisan, non-agenda-driven materials about important public issues are available from the National Issues Forum Institute and other sources.
A free, online learning session hosted by the ALA Public Programs Office featuring Ronda Hassig, school librarian of Harmony Middle School, Overland Park, Kansas, and winner of the 2011 Sara Jaffarian Award.
A free follow-up to a conversation session presented at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting, this webinar explored how to effectively use the conversation guide How Librarians and Libraries Can Lead Community Conversations for Change. This webinar provided concrete suggestions for hosting community conversations as well as opportunities to ask questions about how to move from conversation to action as part of the engagement work of libraries.
The in-person Mental Health First Aid course has been taught to library staff around the country, teaching how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, provide support, deescalate crisis, and if appropriate, refer individuals to services. This highly interactive program employs scenarios and activities to show how to respond in a variety of situations. In this webinar we will briefly outline the history, mission, and pedagogy of the course, then focus on the specific areas of anxiety disorders and psychosis.
This session in our civic engagement series continued Moderating Forums @ your library, Part 1—Nuts and Bolts, how to moderate and/or record a public deliberative forum at the library; a step-by-step guide to making a deliberative forum work, from introducing the issue and participants and showing the video, to deliberating about approaches and finding common ground; and ideas about how to gain practice moderating discussions.
This second session in our civic engagement series covered what is involved in moderating a public deliberative forum in the library—how moderating is different from facilitating; how to promote deliberation; how to stay neutral but help people consider diverse perspectives; how to keep track of time and use an issue framework to help the group deliberate; and how to work with a forum recorder.
As informal education institutions, museums and libraries share similar missions and values and can benefit from forging partnerships. Participants will learn about a number of successful museum/library partnerships that are generating innovative programming, exhibits and creating new opportunities for outreach and how to identify potential partners and successfully manage joint projects.
Islam is the second-most widely practiced faith in the world, and international news items focus on events in Muslim-majority societies daily. Librarians face the unique challenge of reaching patrons with requested information and programming regarding this often unfamiliar culture, while managing reactions from others who may hold Islamophobic or anti-Muslim prejudices.
Learn how to plan engaging programs about Islamic culture and submit a successful proposal for the ALA/NEH collection development grant, the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys.
Amy Herman, Director of Educational Development at Thirteen/WNET, demonstrated her methodology of improving observation, perception, and communication skills by learning to analyze works of art using the Picturing America images. In this highly participatory session for librarians, Amy engaged participants in a dialogue about looking at art and how to make Picturing America images accessible to audiences who do not have formal art historical training.
Join Wendy Lukehart, Youth Collections Coordinator at the District of Columbia Public Library and fellow recipients of the Picturing America collection, to learn more about how the DCPL staff has conducted successful Picturing America programs for children.
Nancy Davenport, Director of Library Services at the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), will share her experiences coordinating Picturing America programs within the DC library system. Nancy will share tips for empowering staff to use the collection as a basis for public programming, as well as creating partnerships with schools, community organizations, and local funding agencies.
Do you have tweens at your library, but find they rarely attend programs? Learn why programming for at-risk youth is important, discover what tweens like, and get tips for successful and popular programs. The highly successful MasterPieces program—a collaboration between The University of Oklahoma and The Pioneer Library System geared towards at-risk tweens—will be featured.
This webinar presented an overview of the Charter for Compassion, resources and activities associated with this initiative that can be used in Building Common Ground efforts, including familiarizing librarians with the Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life Reading Group initiative and model for action.
Join Lisa Sheffield, Adult Services Librarian at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard, North Carolina, to learn more about hosting a viewing and discussion series for adult audiences. Lisa shares her experiences presenting film-based programs, offering a simple program model, and discussing best practices for scheduling the series, finding and working with a scholar/speaker, setting program and audience goals, promoting the series, facilitating each session, and conducting evaluation.
The NEH grant initiative Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys will offer 1,000 libraries a collection of 25 books, three documentary films, and other resources to encourage exploration, conversation, understanding, and mutual respect between Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Experienced library programming experts will share their experiences presenting “Muslim Journeys” programs during the pilot phase, and offer ideas for submitting a successful grant proposal.
Join NEH, the ALA Public Programs Office and fellow Bookshelf grantees for an online learning session that will get you started in putting together fantastic public programming featuring the We the People Bookshelf on “A More Perfect Union.” Librarians serving K-8 and high school audiences give a sneak preview of their programs plans, and representatives from NEH’s EDSITEment present some of the valuable lesson and program planning resources available for several of the Bookshelf titles.
Nancy Davenport, Director of Library Services at the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), shares her experiences with using the Picturing America program within the DC library system.
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a structured, widely respected, research-based method of looking at art that enables participants to develop esthetic and language literacy and critical thinking skills. It provides a simple yet powerful technique that librarians can utilize not just in conducting Picturing America discussion programs, but throughout their careers. Join Oren Slozberg, Executive Director of Visual Thinking Strategies, for an introductory overview of VTS using Picturing America images as a basis for discussion.
Francis Feeley, school librarian at the Inter-American Magnet School, Chicago, and winner of the 2012 Sara Jaffarian Award, will present his winning model for humanities programming in the school library. Sponsored by the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.