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Defining Community Engagement and Outreach

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The Skills for Community-Centered Libraries initiative — a series of trainings meant to build community engagement capacities among staff — launched on Oct. 2, so it’s a good time for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s community organizing team to share what exactly we mean by community engagement. A common definition is a baseline for discussion at workshops and a way to push people’s thinking.

Introducing Free Library of Philadelphia’s Community-Centered Libraries Initiative

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The Aspen Institute’s influential report “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” predicts that in the coming years, the most successful public libraries will be the ones with services that prioritize and support local community goals.

LTC: Introduction to Dialogue & Deliberation for Public Libraries Serving Small, Mid-sized and/or Rural Communities (Series 3: 1 of 3)

NCDD logoUsing NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework and a variety of dialogue resources, participants will learn about the steps for designing successful dialogues that best fit their circumstances and resources. They will also gain an understanding of approaches to dialogue that can help them achieve their goals.

The Longest Table

People seated at the Longest Table Event

The Longest Table, the first of its kind in Maryland, brought together a diverse group of more than 300 guests to share a meal and engage in meaningful conversation about their community. This program was part of Choose Civility, an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library System, to position Howard County as a model of civility. The initiative's mission values diversity and chooses respect, compassion, empathy and inclusiveness as essential to quality of life.

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