For immediate release | October 12, 2010

Learn to lead a productive discussion

Midwinter Institute introduces essentials of discussion facilitation

CHICAGO – The art of discussion facilitation will be the topic of a day-and-a-half institute presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, held Jan. 6 and 7 at the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Adam Davis, director of trainings and publications for the Project on Civic Reflection, will present essential tools that will empower attendees to facilitate a broad range of discussions in their library, including public programs, forum discussions, book groups and more. A boxed lunch is included, and registration is limited to 50 participants to maximize the opportunity for hands-on practice. This institute is co-sponsored by the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee.

Registration for “The Art of Discussion Facilitation: Essential Tools for Public Programs and Beyond” is available online as a part of registration for the ALA Midwinter Meeting (event code: PPO1). The cost of this event is $295 for ALA members, with discounted rates available for retired and student members.
Facilitating productive, reflective discussion is a required skill in many library settings. This workshop combines brief presentations, group discussion and hands-on practice to introduce participants to the essentials of successful discussion facilitation. Participants will learn different types of questions to pose, receive guidance on handling the responsibilities and challenges of being a facilitator, take turns leading discussions and receive immediate feedback. Participants will leave with concrete facilitation skills that they can immediately put to use for their libraries.
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 “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, 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


Angela Thullen