Implementing Community Change: Positive and Productive Partnerships

1 hour

We have all heard that small groups of people can change the world. Still, bringing together a group of people to work in a positive, goal-oriented and cohesive manner can be an uphill battle. Learn how fostering positive and productive partnerships is the first step toward leading community change.

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:

  1. Identify how to align library programs to larger community-wide goals
  2. Learn how to build relationships with community leaders
  3. Understand how to communicate the scope and importance of library programs to the larger community
  4. Develop an action plan to implement partnerships
  5. Hold crucial conversations to facilitate opportunity rather than failure


Headshots of Cheri Neal and Deb Will

Cheri Neal has been the supervisor of Zion Township, Ill., since May 2001. She is the acting CEO and treasurer, overseeing a budget of nearly $1 million and a staff of amazingly diverse, dynamic people. She is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and mandates, creating networks and relationships to support her team in accessing resources for residents, developing future community leaders for the sustainability of the Zion community, and collaboratively addressing systemic issues that affect Zion residents. She holds a master's degree in management and certificate in leadership through North Park University, a certificate in nonprofit marketing and communication through Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business, a bachelor of science degree in psychology and human behavior in society, and an associate of arts through the College of Lake County. She is a certified life coach through iPEC and accredited through International Coach Federation, is and a member of the National Speakers Association.

Since 2001, Deborah Althoff Will has been the instructional materials center coordinator at Zion-Benton Township High School (Z-BTHS) in Illinois. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and theater arts from Eastern Illinois University, a master’s degree in literary studies from Utah State University, and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Additionally, Deborah currently serves as the second vice president of the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) and is currently working on a joint conference with IATE and the Association of Illinois School Library Educators. She is also the sponsor of Healthy YOUth, a drug prevention program at Z-BTHS, and is a board member of the Zion-Benton Coalition for Healthy Communities.