LTC: Introduction to Dialogue & Deliberation for Academic Libraries (1 of 3)

Academic libraries often view "community" in different terms; their community may be a campus, an academic department or specialty, or the city or town beyond the college or university. With all these variations and so many community engagement models available, where should you begin?

Join the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) for an overview of the range of models in dialogue and deliberation suited for academic libraries' unique communities.

Using NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework and a variety of dialogue resources, library professionals serving academic communities will learn about the steps for designing successful dialogues that best fit their circumstances and resources. They will also gain an understanding of approaches to dialogue that can help them achieve their goals.

This free webinar series is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and NCDD that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. 

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  1. Gain an understanding of the range of dialogue and deliberation approaches available and how academic libraries have implemented them.
  2. Learn and ask questions about best practices for achieving libraries' engagement goals.
  3. Learn about resources available to libraries and how to access them.
  4. Be introduced to the two approaches featured in this webinar series for academic libraries: Essential Partners' Reflective Structured Dialogue and National Issues Forums.

Who Should Attend

This is the first in a three-part webinar series designed for academic libraries. Register for or view the previous series for public libraries serving larger, urban communities. The final series (winter/spring 2018) will be designed for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and rural communities. Not sure which series is right for you? Email us.


Sandy Heierbacher is the founding director of NCDD, a national nonprofit network representing more than 2,300 organizations and individuals (facilitators, consultants, nonprofit leaders, public administrators, university professors, students, etc.) who bring people together across political and ethnic divides to discuss contentious issues and move to agreement and action when possible. Since 2002, NCDD has served as a hub, a resource clearinghouse, a convener and a facilitative leader for this growing community of practice. Heierbacher has a M.A. in Intercultural and International Management from SIT Graduate Institute and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In addition to running NCDD, Heierbacher is as a research deputy with the Kettering Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Participatory Budgeting Project and the Board of the National Issues Forums Institute, and has consulted for such organizations as the Corporation for National Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heierbacher moved to the Boston area from Pennsylvania in June 2015.

Courtney Breese is managing director for NCDD. Breese manages NCDD's day-to-day operations and directs their ongoing programming, projects and contracts. She has been involved with NCDD since 2009, serving as conference manager for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 national conferences. Breese was also previously a member of NCDD's Board of Directors. She is a trainer, mediator and facilitator with extensive experience in the National Issues Forums framework. She has also worked for the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, managing the state agricultural mediation program and working on public engagement and training projects.




How to Register

Watch the Recording

Tech Requirements

Computer and headphones


ALA Public Programs Office (312.280.5045 /