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

1 hour, 30 minutes

In small, mid-sized and/or rural communities, the public library often becomes a de facto town hall. Through this important social position, libraries have the potential to make the most impactful change in their communities.

In this free, 90-minute webinar, join the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) for an overview of the range of models in dialogue and deliberation available to public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities.

NCDD logo

Using 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.

This will be an interactive session, and participants will have opportunities to ask questions and engage with presenters. Participants will:

  1. Gain an understanding of the range of dialogue and deliberation approaches available and how public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities have implemented them.
  2. Learn and ask questions about best practices for achieving libraries' engagement goals.
  3. Learn about resources available to libraries and how to access them.
  4. Be introduced to the two approaches featured in later webinars in this series: Conversation Café and Future Search.

This free webinar series is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

PLEASE NOTE: This is the first in a three-part webinar series designed for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities. Register for or view Series 1: For public libraries serving larger, urban communities and Series 2: For academic libraries. Not sure which series is right for you? Email us.


Sandy Heierbacher headshot

Sandy Heierbacher is the founding director of NCDD, a national nonprofit network representing more than 2,300 organizations and individuals (facilitators, consultants, nonprofit leaders, public administrators, university professors, students, etc.) who bring people together across political and ethnic divides to discuss contentious issues and move to agreement and action when possible. Since 2002, NCDD has served as a hub, a resource clearinghouse, a convener and a facilitative leader for this growing community of practice. Heierbacher has a M.A. in Intercultural and International Management from SIT Graduate Institute and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In addition to running NCDD, Heierbacher is as a research deputy with the Kettering Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Participatory Budgeting Project and the Board of the National Issues Forums Institute, and has consulted for such organizations as the Corporation for National Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heierbacher moved to the Boston area from Pennsylvania in June 2015.

Courtney Breese Headshot

Courtney Breese is managing director for NCDD. Breese manages NCDD's day-to-day operations, and directs their ongoing programming, projects and contracts. She has been involved with NCDD since 2009, serving as conference manager for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 national conferences. Breese was also previously a member of NCDD's Board of Directors. She is a trainer, mediator and facilitator with extensive experience in the National Issues Forums framework. She has also worked for the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, managing the state agricultural mediation program and working on public engagement and training projects.

Dianne Connery

Dianne Connery is the director of the Pottsboro (Texas) Area Public Library, named a Best Small Library America 2017 Finalist by Library Journal. She was a corporate trainer and entrepreneur before moving to a rural community eight years ago. On the verge of closing its doors, the library was saved by a group of dedicated volunteers who got involved and transformed it into the vibrant community gathering place it is today. Even though she doesn't have a green thumb in the garden, Dianne enjoys planting seeds in the community.