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NCompass Live: Community Engagement: Straight Talk


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NCompass Live - January 29, 2020

Innovation encompasses far more than technology. One of the most exciting trends in 21st century libraries is the emphasis on restructuring and reinventing our roles in our communities. A huge part of this discussion revolves around the term "Community Engagement". And while this sounds grand and fancy, things often get blurry when we are pressed to define it, implement it, and (the most daunting of all) measure it.

It’s time to cut through ambiguity and put concrete parameters around this evasive topic. This discussion will center around the following questions about community engagement: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and HOW?

Participants will leave with a clear definition of Community Engagement, along with the framework for how to build a Community Engagement plan. One size doesn’t fit all. Your library is uniquely special and to honor this fact, this interactive hour will include brainstorming about what’s right for your library and community. This discussion will be supported by concrete examples and case studies from libraries who have implemented successful community engagement plans.

This conversation is for everyone in the public library. The secret to effective community engagement involves the whole team; we all have an important part to play.

Presenter: Erica Rose, Library Science Faculty/Program Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Published in: Education
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NCompass Live: Community Engagement: Straight Talk

  1. 1. Community engagement ” I think I will never grow tired of the expression ‘civic engagement” in relation to libraries” “ community engagement—a library survival skill in this day and age” —Comments from the ALA virtual conference Mapping Transformations, July 2012
  2. 2. ERICA ROSE -Library Science Faculty Program Coordinator (Online undergraduate degree)
  3. 3. my story to start Once upon a time...
  4. 4. What’s your story?
  5. 5. definitions What does this term mean to you, your staff, your library?
  6. 6. Three truths ● Trust ● Mission ● Access
  7. 7. What’s your mission?
  8. 8. Example ● The San Francisco Public Library system is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community
  9. 9. The truth is This will look different in every library and community.
  10. 10. This is really about Seeking to understand your community Getting to know the people in it Finding ways your library can nurture and support individuals and organizations
  11. 11. Cyclical benefits
  12. 12. Farming
  13. 13. Building relationships Organically. Intentionally Emotional Intelligence Critical thinking/Creativity Sincerity
  14. 14. “ community engagement—a library survival skill in this day and age”
  15. 15. Where to start
  16. 16. Who? Community engagement belongs to everyone
  17. 17. Inviting in...
  18. 18. Who? Who is your community? Stop assuming. Start making data-based decision making. Fuse your instincts to your research.
  19. 19. Frontlines staff are your best P.R.
  20. 20. No more assumptions
  21. 21. Tools Access Census Data - American Factfinder Chamber of Commerce Town Manager/Planner Board Members Community organizations
  22. 22. Write down 3 potential partners
  23. 23. What Step 1) Awareness Step 2) Attendance Step 3) Involvement Step 4) Offer support
  24. 24. Find out what’s important to them
  25. 25. The secret sauce Find out what’s important to them
  26. 26. Tools Facility Staff Materials Research skills Neutrality Robust knowledge Community expertise
  27. 27. Why? Mission
  28. 28. Compare your missions
  29. 29. Mission example ● The San Francisco Public Library system is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community ● The San Francisco School cultivates and celebrates the intellectual, imaginative, and humanitarian promise of each student in a community that practices mutual respect, embraces diversity, and inspires a passion for learning.
  30. 30. when
  31. 31. Mark one day a week for one contact
  32. 32. Where
  33. 33. ● Give before asking
  34. 34. One more thing Support. Your. Schools.
  35. 35. resources
  36. 36. Urban Libraries Council -Report on Civic Engagement 1. Civic Educator—raising awareness of civics, civic engagement, and civic responsibility 2. Conversation Starter—identifying challenging community issues, creating forums for sharing opinions, and developing action strategies 3. Community Bridge—bringing diverse people, including local government officials, and organizations with different perspectives together to build stronger communities 4. Visionary—leading efforts to develop a broad and inclusive community vision 5. Center for Democracy in Action—walking, talking, thinking, and acting as the place where democracy, civic engagement, and public discourse happen
  37. 37. Additional resources /2016%20TLA%20LDN%20Community%20Engagement%20Handout%20INTERA CTIVE%20DRAFT%2004-04a.pdf transforming-communities/resources-for-library-professionals
  38. 38. Celebrate the good stuff You are already doing this in so many important ways.
  39. 39. Ask me anything
  40. 40. ERICA ROSE University of Nebraska-Omaha 402-554-3485 970-231-7372 @EricaRoseLibSci