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Skills for Community-Centered Libraries

Monday, April 4

Apply by March 23, 2022 for this seven-week learning experience.

How can you center the community when developing programs and services for your library? In this online learning experience led by expert instructors and facilitators, you will engage with other colleagues in your library as well as other California public libraries to reflect on the work you do, learn how to create small shifts in your professional practices and mindset, and work toward a common goal of engagement with the community as defined by the community.

By the end of this course, you will have gained skills in:

  • identifying neighborhood assets,
  • facilitating community meetings,
  • understanding emerging neighborhood trends, and
  • enhancing your library’s community engagement initiatives.

Up to six teams of California public library staff, made up of at least three and a maximum of six people, will have the opportunity to participate in this free course, offered by California Libraries Learn (CALL).

To apply, please complete this online form by March 23, 2022.  CALL reserves the right to select the teams. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by March 30, 2022.

Course Format and Schedule:

This course is based on a curriculum developed and tested by the Free Library of Philadelphia and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It will cover four topics regarding the major components of community engagement in a library setting:

  • Building Connections: Explore strategies for connecting with community assets in-person and online in an effort to become a more community-centered library.
  • Effective Communication: Reflect on how life experiences, traditions, and beliefs impact communication and explore strategies for facilitating deeper discussions and stronger connections as steps toward a more community-centered library.
  • Program Development: Examine the benefits of involving community assets when creating community programs and how those approaches impact engagement outcomes.
  • Community Engagement: Look at the model as a strategy for developing asset-oriented initiatives to strengthen the community-centered library.

We will spend two weeks on each topic. During the first week of each topic, there will be a live online instructional session to learn about the core concepts. These sessions will be recorded. Then, during the second week, teams will have the opportunity to interact with each other as well as with teams from other libraries during facilitated online small group discussion sessions. Additional content will be available on the CALL Academy platform for learners to engage with at their own pace. And, throughout the course, learners will have opportunities to consult with the instructor and connect with other learners on discussion forums.

CALL EXCLUSIVE (for California public libraries only), provided by Infopeople.


Monday, April 4
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Skills for Community-Centered Libraries