Bridging the Past and Present Online: History, Democracy and Civic Engagement in Libraries and Archives

Wednesday, 9/23/2020
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

This panel will examine historically-focused online civic engagement programming and voting rights initiatives within libraries and archives. It will explore the innovative ways in which these institutions promote civic literacy by facilitating access to and promoting dialogue around historical information. By bringing together historians and librarians it will seek to answer the following questions: How can libraries and archives serve as hubs for practicing democracy? How can we utilize our historical collections to promote civic literacy? Can our efforts to facilitate engagement with our historical collections promote democratic participation in our society? After presentations by our panels, there will be a brief discussion among participants about issues and topics raised.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify methods for promoting civic engagement through the use of digitized collections
  • Adapt efforts described by the speakers to fit a diverse range of information settings
  • Start a dialogue about utilizing online resources to initiate a conversation among patrons regarding the ongoing influence of historical events

Who Should Attend

This webinar is ideal for education, interpretation, and programming professionals at librarians and other cultural institutions. 


Karen Christianson, Director of Public Engagement, Newberry Library,  an independent research library in Chicago, where her department produces a wide array of adult education seminars, free public programs, and teacher and student programs and resources. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Iowa.

Anne Jamieson, President, League of Women Voters, Chicago, Adult Services Librarian Deerfield Public

Ross Jordan, Curatorial Manager, Hull House



Registration rates are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $45
  • ALA members: $55
  • ALA student & retired members: $25
  • Non-members: $77

Group rate: $99 single login

*DURING THIS TIME OF COVID-19 RELATED LIBRARY CLOSURES: For purposes of group registration, RUSA will define a group as up to 20 staff from a single library system working remotely and logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webinar broadcast. It will be the responsibility of the registrants to share the webinar login information with members of their staff who wish to participate

How to Register

Register Online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat. 

For assistance for the deaf or hard of hearing, please send your request via email to Ninah Moore at by Friday, September 11, 2020


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!