SOSTMAN's blog

"Skokie Library Sets Sights on Engaging Community More"

Skokie (Ill.) Public Library was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times' Skokie Review recently for its work convening Harwood Institute-style community conversations.
The library -- which has taken part in two ALA/Harwood Institute Public Innovators Labs in 2013 and 2014 -- is hosting a series of private and public gatherings to learn about their residents' aspirations.
"We're really focused on listening to what the community wants -- the kind fo community they want to live in -- and then using that information to help

New Resources Available: Community Conversations and Theming

In the "turning outward" approach, community conversations are a way to tap into your community's aspirations and concerns. These conversations consist of 10 questions, last 90 minutes to two hours, and are designed for groups of 6 to 15 people. The goal is to authentically engage members of the community and generate Public Knowledge that can be used to inform decision-making of all kinds.

San José Public Library on Using the Aspirations Exercise

San José Public Library is part of the Libraries Transforming Communities Public Innovators Cohort, a group of 10 public libraries chosen to undergo an extensive 18-month training in the “turning outward” approach. In May, a team of five San José librarians and community partners attended a three-day training taught by Harwood Institute educators in Denver.

'Turning Outward' in Practice: Q&A with Alice Knapp of Ferguson Library

Libraries around the country are already putting the “turning outward” approach to work in their communities. Alice Knapp is interim president at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Conn.; in October 2013, she attended a Harwood Institute Public Innovators Lab. Here, Knapp tells ALA about her library’s experience with the “turning outward” approach.