For immediate release | January 31, 2012

ALA preconference builds community connections through civic reflection

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) will present a day-and-a-half preconference during the ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The preconference, titled “Civic Reflection Builds Community Connections: A Program Model for Libraries,” which will be held from 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 and from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday, June 22, is aimed at library directors, department heads and senior staff from public, academic and special libraries. This hands-on workshop, presented with support from the ALA Cultural Communities Fund, will train participants in dialogue facilitation skills with proven success in strengthening partnerships, building effective teams across departments and organizations and raising the profile of the library as a center for community life. To register, visit

During the day-and-a-half preconference, participants will learn how to put into practice the civic reflection model developed by the Project on Civic Reflection. Since 1998, thousands of citizens across America have engaged in meaningful dialogue through the civic reflection model, and it has been implemented in many libraries, colleges, foundations and other community organizations. Preconference participants from all types of libraries will learn how to engage their communities through short, thought-provoking readings, which gradually transition into larger questions reflecting on civic engagement. With the opportunity to contribute to and learn from a diverse group of voices, participants will leave the “Civic Reflection Builds Community Connections: A Program Model for Libraries” preconference with valuable facilitation skills that can immediately be applied to enhance dialogue within their library and community.

“This unique preconference provides participants from public, academic and special libraries the chance to learn how to spark engaging discussions that address underlying values and promote richer connections among community members and to the root of civic life. The opportunity to join with fellow librarians and learn how to engage community members in powerful civic dialogue while positioning the library as a community leader will be a transformative experience for everyone involved,” said Carolyn Anthony of the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library.

Presenters at the preconference will include Adam Davis, director for the Project on Civic Reflection, and Carolyn Anthony, director of the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library. This session is presented by the ALA Public Programs Office under the leadership of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee with support from the ALA Cultural Communities Fund. For more information, including conference registration and hotel information, visit

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included the Let’s Talk About It reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit