ALA Launches Community Engagement Initiative



From the American Library Association

Community engagement — the process of working collaboratively with community members — provides a roadmap to creating sustainable, resilient organizations and communities. Small, rural libraries are nimble, responsive organizations that can work with their communities to create powerful community-led change.

Specially designed for the needs of small and rural libraries, Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, a new learning series from the American Library Association (ALA), will help library workers develop facilitation skills to engage with their communities.

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, ALA and its project partners will release a suite of facilitation resources in 2020, including:

  • A five-part asynchronous online course, open to all library workers, free of charge. Sign up to be notified when each course module is available.
  • In-person training at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago with follow-up coaching support; space is limited. Registration and travel stipends will be granted through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Apply now.
  • A step-by-step facilitation guide.

The online course, in-person workshop and coaching support are open to library employees who work in small/rural communities — i.e., communities outside of U.S. Census-defined urban areas that have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less, in accordance with the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) definitions.

All library types (e.g., public, college/academic, K-12) are welcome, and no facilitation or community engagement experience is required.

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