Civic Engagement

Engage! Teens, Art and Civic Engagement

Engage! Teens, Art and Civic Engagement is program model targeting young adult audiences through dynamic discussions that utilize the visual arts as springboards to civic engagement.
Engage! was piloted in summer 2010 in eight Chicago Public Library branches and the YOUmedia center at Harold Washington Public Library; in fall 2010 by Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library; and in fall 2010 and spring 2011 at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library. Images and program models from many of these sites can be found in the following pages.
How to Use Engage!

Year-long Public Innovation Training Opportunity

Continuing the collaboration between The Harwood Institute and the American Library Association on The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities Initiative, a three-day Harwood Institute Public Innovators Lab designed especially for libraries kicks off a year of coaching and webinar support. The three-day immersion in the Harwood practice, October 28–30, 2013, at the District of Columbia Public Library Martin Luther King Jr.

North Region Libraries Show Patrons How-To

You’ve probably witnessed it, even if you’re not familiar with the acronym. The endurance of the Do-It-Yourself movement, or DIY, would seem to indicate some disenchantment with consumer society or a need for us ultra-moderns to return to a more intimate connection to the “simple life”—the proliferation of home improvement and interior decorating shows can attest easily enough to that. There seems to be something engaging about being a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades.

But maybe I’m overstating the case.

Library-Led Community Engagement and Innovation

To wrap up our 2013 ALA Annual Conference coverage, Judy Hoffman writes about two Conference programs: “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities: A Presidential Initiative Update” and “Community Engagement Conversation: Advancing Library-led Community Engagement,” both held on Saturday, June 29.

Connecting Readers and Ebooks at Indianapolis Public Library

The Indianapolis Public Library recognized the growing popularity of e-readers in 2012 and began planning what became known as the “Tinker Station,” an interactive program to help the Indianapolis community navigate the exciting new world of digital material. This mobile program allows library patrons to explore different e-reader devices, and it operates much like a petting zoo.

Civic Engagement in Seattle

For those of you headed to Seattle for the ALA Midwinter Meeting, we’ve gathered some civic engagement–related programs you might be interested in attending, including information on ALA President Maureen Sullivan’s Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities initiative, a discussion on how to lead community engagement from your library, the ALA President’s Program with speaker Peter Block, and more.

Saturday, January 26

Young voters @ your library

The library has long been referred to as the cornerstone of democracy, providing free and equal access to information for all people. Adults across the country know that their library is a go-to resource when it comes to being a well-informed participant in the electoral process. Its resources range from hosting local debates and discussions to acting as polling places and helping patrons register to vote.

NaNoWriMo @ your library

Many aspiring novelists are brainstorming and charging their laptops in preparation for visiting your library during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a creative writing project whose goal is to get people of all ages to try to write a novel of 50,000 words by the end of November. Many libraries across the country will be acting as Come Write In points for NaNoWriMo participants, offering a welcoming environment for people as they work on their novels.


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