LTC Public Innovators Cohort

Ten public libraries from across the country are participating in an intensive, team-based community engagement training program as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC).

Over 18 months, members of the LTC Public Innovators Cohort train with educators from the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and apply the training to challenges in their own communities. The project is part of a national plan to help librarians strengthen their role as core community leaders and change-agents.

Members of the cohort were chosen in a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. The selected libraries represent the range of American communities in terms of size, location, ethnic and racial diversity and socioeconomic status. They face myriad challenges, including illiteracy, unemployment, the “digital divide,” an influx of new and immigrant populations, and disparate access to services.

The cohort includes:

  • Red Hook (N.Y.) Public Library (pop: 1,900)
  • Columbus (Wis.) Public Library (pop: 5,000)
  • Knox County (Ind.) Public Library (pop: 33,900)
  • Suffolk (Va.) Public Library (pop: 85,000)
  • Hartford (Conn.) Public Library (pop: 125,000)
  • Springfield (Mass.) City Library (pop:  153,000)
  • Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library (pop: 195,000)
  • Spokane County (Wash.) Library District (pop: 255,000)
  • San Jose (Calif.) Public Library (pop: 980,000)
  • Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library (pop: 3.8 million)

Through in-person training, webinars and coaching — valued at $50,000 — teams from each library will learn new community engagement techniques and apply them within their communities. Each library also receives an $8,000 cash grant.

ALA will share case studies of our cohort libraries, who serve as “turning-outward ambassadors” to the library profession. Their experiences in library-led community engagement and innovation will serve as examples and provide a learning experience for the field. We will share their work on the LTC blog.

Read a press release announcing the LTC Public Innovators Cohort.