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Community Conversations: Lessons Learned at NYPL's Mid-Manhattan Library

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Nine people sitting in a circle and talking

The model for New York Public Library's Community Conversations series, as presented by Everyday Democracy and ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative, provides staff with valuable experience in community-mapping, partnership-building and the practice of facilitating public discussions.

Implementing Community Change: Positive and Productive Partnerships

In this 60-minute webinar, representatives of the Zion-Benton Township High School Library and Zion Township supervisor’s office will share how they worked together to initiate a unique reading and discussion program to tackle issues of equity, diversity and inclusion among teens in their community. Learn how aligning library goals to wider community concerns can create positive partnerships that reap benefits for all stakeholders.

Participants of this session will:

A Tale of Two Organizations: Talking about Affordable Housing on the Lower East Side

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A brief look at the history of New York City’s Lower East Side (LES) reveals that this little patch of land has always been an area ripe for intense debate. The portrayal of the neighborhood in books, film and other media is constant — the romance, horrors and bitter struggles. The LES is a place of rare historical significance, a community that has inspired generations of activists, radicals, advocates and new Americans to envision a better future.

Community Conversations: Engagement through Local History

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Group of people talking

The Upper West Side of Manhattan has been one of New York’s most recognizable neighborhoods, featured in dozens of films and television shows; our cultural landmarks run the gamut from Lincoln Center to Zabar’s food emporium. However, visitors and even residents of the Upper West Side might not be aware that the neighborhood has a rich activist history. 

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries: Learning through Experience

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Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Xun Kuang, philosopher

Imagine trying to learn to knit. Would you learn best by reading a book about knitting? Hearing a friend talk about knitting? Watching an expert knitter? Or learning the basic steps and actually trying to knit?

NYPL's Community Conversations: Dialogue-Driven Programming

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Librarian practices facilitating a discussion

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a system of four research libraries and 88 circulating branch libraries that serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. The library’s Adult Programming and Outreach Services office works with staff across the circulating branch system to provide centralized resources that support the diverse needs of patrons from all walks of life.

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