Join us for a training session, presentation or online learning session to learn how your library can facilitate important conversations and lead change in your community.
Scroll down or click one of the following options for details. For more information or to share feedback about any of these opportunities, contact ALA's Public Programs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Series 1: For public libraries serving large and/or urban communities (spring 2017)
Series 2: For academic libraries (fall 2017)
Series 3: For public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities (winter/spring 2018)
JUMP TO: Online Learning Sessions
- Three tracks, or series, of trainings are available:
- Each track consists of five parts: the introductory webinar, three library-specific webinars, and one in-person workshop.
- Take as many courses as you like; all webinars will be recorded and may be viewed on-demand, for free, at any time. This webpage will be updated with links to the recorded sessions when available.
This free webinar series is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
- FOLLOW-UP TO INTRODUCTORY WEBINAR: "Google Hangout: Columbus (Wis.) Public Library's Action Potlucks (and Other Ideas for Getting Started in Community Engagement)"
Recorded Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 1 - 2 p.m. CDT
Getting started in community engagement work can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to. You can get your feet wet with simple, fun gatherings that bring new faces into your library and get them working together. Cindy Fesemyer, director of the Columbus (Wis.) Public Library, organized a series of popular Action Potlucks where her residents got together over shared food to brainstorm and execute small improvement projects for their town. Join Cindy for a casual conversation about her Action Potlucks and other community engagement projects on Tuesday, March 28, at 2pm EDT/1pm CDT.
Series 1: For libraries serving large and/or urban communities (World Cafe, Everyday Democracy) — Spring 2017
Series 2: For academic libraries (Essential Partners, National Issues Forums) — Fall 2017
NOTE: Academic library professionals who view all three webinars, live or recorded, are invited to attend this free, one-day pre-conference workshop at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Applicants must be registered for the ALA Midwinter Meeting (at the applicant's expense) to be considered for this workshop. Space in the workshop is limited, so register early.
Series 3: For libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities (Future Search, Conversation Cafe) — Winter/Spring 2018
In-person workshop: June 2018 (2018 ALA Annual Conference)
Online Learning Sessions
All communities have challenges. Libraries can help conquer them — given the right tools. Learn how Columbus (Wis.) Public Library, Red Hook (N.Y.) Public Library, and Spokane County (Wash.) Library District are bringing residents, local organizations and city leaders together to tackle a variety of issues using the “turning outward” approach.
Created by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, the step-by-step “turning outward” process is being used by libraries and nonprofits across the country to engage communities and help bring about positive change. Learn how you can facilitate more effective community conversations, build stronger partnerships and take more effective action on the issues that the community views as most important. In this 60-minute introduction, representatives of Columbus Public Library, Red Hook Public Library, and Spokane County Library District will share how they are using the free “turning outward” tools to be intentional with resources, realign day-to-day library operations, and succeed in community relationships outside of the building. This webinar is offered as part of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative.
"Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community": A Series of Six One-Hour Courses on the Harwood Institute Tools (recorded 2014-15)
This series of webinars explain, step by step, how to use the “Turning Outward” approach created by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. The approach emphasizes taking steps to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused; becoming more proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.
For workbooks and other print resources about "Turning Outward," visit our Resources for Libraries page.
See links to individual sessions below, or view the webinar series on YouTube.
- Part 1: "Hosting and Leading Community Conversations"
- Part 2: "Theming and Using Public Knowledge"
- Part 3: "Calibrating Community Conditions"
- Part 4: "Hosting and Using Innovation Spaces"
- Part 5: "Partner Selection and Managing Relationships"
- Part 6: "Sweet Spot of Public Life"
The ALA Center for Civic Life and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life host a free webinar series to help librarians lead their communities in dealing with challenging public issues.