ALA’s partner in LTC is the nonprofit Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, whose “turning outward” approach emphasizes changing the orientation of institutions and individuals from internal (institutional) to external (community-facing). This process entails taking steps to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused; being proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.
LTC is made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Turning outward” emphasizes a shift in orientation from internal (library-focused) to external (community-focused). This change is achieved through practical steps: taking measures to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make your library‘s work more community-focused; being proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.
Areas of Concentration
LTC consists of three areas of concentration:
- LTC Public Innovators Cohort: ALA has selected 10 public libraries across the country to participate in an intensive 18-month, team-based community engagement training program. The libraries will train with community-engagement experts and apply the training to challenges in their communities.
- Knowledge-sharing: ALA is committed to sharing LTC knowledge and resources with library professionals through conference sessions and free digital materials, including webinars, worksheets and conversation guides.
- ALA staff training: ALA is working internally to integrate community-focused thinking and processes into our own organization.
LTC will help libraries become more reflective of and connected to their communities and achieve a domino effect of positive results, including stronger relationships with local civic agencies, non-profits, funders and corporations, and
greater community investment in civility, collaboration, education, health and well-being. ALA also hopes to shift public discourse away from past themes about libraries in crisis and toward talk of libraries as agents of positive community change.