Facing a divided nation, ALA offers libraries free trainings in dialogue facilitation and deliberation

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/15/2016


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

(312) 280-5061


CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) invite library professionals to attend a free learning series to explore various dialogue facilitation approaches and position themselves to foster conversation and lead change in their communities.

“As our nation becomes increasingly divided, ALA sees tremendous opportunity for libraries to be a leading force for reconciliation, progress and common ground,” said ALA President Julie Todaro. “We are proud to make community engagement resources available to all libraries, free of charge, through this initiative.”

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change, a two-year project, ALA and NCDD will produce ten webinars and three in-person workshops. Change-making leaders, such as Everyday Democracy, National Issues Forum and World Café, will develop and lead the trainings, which will be customized to meet the needs of various library types and sizes: large public library systems; small, medium-sized and rural public libraries; and academic libraries.

Registration is currently open for four learning sessions.

Representatives of public libraries serving large or urban communities are invited to attend the following three-part series:

Each session will be recorded and archived for free on-demand viewing on the Programming Librarian website.

Individuals who view all three webinars, live or recorded, will be invited to attend a free pre-conference workshop at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Future learning sessions will be designed for academic libraries (fall 2017) and small, mid-sized and rural public libraries (winter/spring 2018). Details for future sessions will be announced in 2017. To stay informed about future offerings, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change follows up on Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), a two-year initiative offered in 2014-15 by ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation that explored and developed the Harwood Institute's "Turning Outward" approach in public libraries. With this second phase of LTC, ALA will broaden its focus on library-led community engagement by offering professional development training in community engagement and dialogue facilitation models created by change-making leaders such as Everyday Democracy and National Issues Forums.

LTC: Models for Change is made possible through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the ALA Public Programs Office

ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of library professionals nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. For programming ideas, professional development and grant opportunities, on-demand online courses and other free resources, visit www.programminglibrarian.org.

About the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

NCDD is an active U.S.-based network of 2,300 innovators who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide and act together on today's toughest challenges. We serve as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source and a facilitative leader for an active community of practice centered around the practices of dialogue and deliberation. Our online Resource Center at www.ncdd.org/rc connects people to 3,000 resources on group process and public engagement, and more than 38,000 people are subscribed to our monthly email updates. Our biennial national conferences are well-loved, high-energy events that bring together those who are committed to finding innovative ways to convene people to address seemingly intractable problems. To learn more or get involved, visit www.ncdd.org.