Libraries Transforming Communities: Academic Libraries

Partner Organizations

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) logo
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is a network of more than 2,300 innovators who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide and take action together effectively on today’s toughest issues. NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source and a facilitative leader for this vital community of practice.
Essential Partners: Bold Explorations in Community
Essential Partners’ method, called Reflective Structured Dialogue, helps people with fundamental disagreements over divisive issues develop the mutual understanding and trust essential for strong communities and positive action. It draws on strategies developed by family therapists to promote effective communication in the midst of painful differences. The method also incorporates insights and tools from mediation, interpersonal communications, appreciative inquiry, organization development, and psychology and neurobiology. 
The model is characterized by a careful preparatory phase in which all stakeholders/sides are interviewed and prepared for the dialogue process. This approach enables participants to share experiences and explore questions that both clarify their own perspectives and help them become more comfortable around, and curious about, those with whom they are in conflict.
Use Essential Partners’ Reflective Structured Dialogue method when: There is a need to resolve conflicts, encourage community healing after a crisis or trauma, or improve relations among groups in your community. 
Topics suited for this process: Political polarization, Jewish-Muslim relations, race relations, and other value-based conflicts.
Why we chose this model: This method offers an approach to conflict resolution that seeks to restore trust, gain understanding and move toward collaborative action. This allows a campus community to engage deeply with one another on issues where there is great tension, and also could serve as a tool for thorough exploration of diverse perspectives on an issue.
National Issues Forum
National Issues Forums offer citizens the opportunity to join together to deliberate, to make choices with others about ways to approach difficult issues and to work toward creating reasoned public judgment. National Issues Forums is known for its careful issue framing and quality issue guides, which outline three or four different viewpoints. 
Forums are neutrally moderated in a way that encourages positive interaction between people who are not expected to agree, but are encouraged to find a shared direction. For two or three hours, participants are led by a neutral moderator who encourages exploration and evaluation of several possible solutions to the issue at hand. Every solution comes with a set of costs and consequences that must be thoroughly measured. Only then do you know which costs participants are willing to bear. 
Use National Issues Forums when: You want to encourage exploration of tough public problems in increase public knowledge of the issue, and/or you wish to influence public decisions and policy. 
Topics suited for this model: Health care, immigration, policing, substance abuse, energy, climate change and more! National Issues Forums has materials in a variety of topics, including historical frameworks for reflecting on big issues in history.
Why we chose this model: This approach to deliberating the tough issues of today is already used in academic settings across the country to engage students and the broader campus community. It allows for deep exploration and evaluation of the options available to address specific issues, which gets participants thinking more deeply about the issue and what is at stake.


Introductory Webinar

"Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change Overview"
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, 1 - 2 p.m. CST
Type: Virtual
Library Types: All

Series 2: For academic libraries — Fall 2017 — Registration info coming soon

Webinar 1: September 2017 
Webinar 2: October 2017
Webinar 3: November 2017
In-person workshop: February 2018 (2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting)

View the full list of Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change trainings.