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.