New Tools to Help Libraries Lead Positive Community Change

Sep 4, 2015

LTC_TurnOutward_0The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, has released three new tools to help libraries engage their communities, focus efforts where they are needed most and lead positive community change.

The tools are the final pieces of a set of community engagement resources created for libraries as part of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative. Taken together, the collection — which includes worksheets, conversation guides and webinars — teaches libraries to “turn outward,” making their communities the reference point for the libraries’ work.

  • “Making It Stick with Staff” is a discussion guide to help libraries reflect on their changing outlook and make the “turning outward” approach part of their everyday work.
  • “Making Meaning of Data” helps libraries make sense of data about library usage and activity and use that information to create programs that better serves the community’s needs.
  • “Tracking Your Progress” provides a visual representation of the “turning outward” approach to help libraries visualize where they have been and where they are going next.

The full collection of “turning outward” resources — including a 90-day “Step-by-Step Guide to ‘Turning Outward’ to Your Community” — may be downloaded, free of charge, at

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