The American Library Association (ALA) has released a set of free professional development materials to help library workers in small and rural communities develop the facilitation skills they need to thrive in the 21st-century library.
Offered through Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, the materials are designed to help library workers prepare for and lead discussions and overcome common challenges that arise when people gather to speak in groups.
Available materials include:
- “Leading Conversations in Small and Rural Libraries,” a practical 30-page guide that covers the basics of leading discussions in the library, including roles and responsibilities, setting ground rules and managing group dynamics.
- “Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Training for Small and Rural Libraries,” a five-part e-course available on ALA’s eLearning platform. Module 1, “Conversations in the Library: Getting Started,” will be followed by four additional modules to be released monthly this spring. Sign up for the full e-course series to receive notifications when new modules are added.
Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number RE-17-19-0041-19.
The initiative is offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in collaboration with the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), the Association of Small and Rural Libraries (ARSL), and the Chief Officers of State Library Associations (COSLA).