Keene is a working-class community located in New Hampshire, one of the most racially homogenous states in the country. Living as a person of color in a predominately white community can be an isolating experience, but race is an important conversation topic no matter where one lives. Librarian Gail Zachariah of Keene Public Library created conversation programs with the goal of helping Keene residents learn from and understand one another.
'In turbulent times, what do we share in common? That’s the main question asked in one of the most widely carried PBS documentaries of the past year, "American Creed," which profiles citizen-activists around the country who are grappling with their communities’ deepest divides.
At this year’s ALA Annual Conference, filmmaker Sam Ball, director of the nonprofit Citizen Film, presented clips from "American Creed."
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.
In February 2017, the New York Public Library (NYPL) launched a Community Conversations pilot with the goal of further establishing branch libraries as key civic convening centers, providing space, information and quality discussion for communities to better understand and problem-solve around local issues.
ALA, in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, invites public libraries to apply for programming grants to host community conversations centered around American Creed, a PBS documentary that invites audiences to consider what America’s ideals and identity ought to be.
On April 13, the Berkshire Athenaeum hosted a Speed Repping program. What is Speed Repping? Much like speed dating, Speed Repping provides community members a few minutes to sit down with their representatives in a one-on-one setting and ask them questions about who they are, what they do, or just voice concerns.
The Memphis Public Library ran a similar program in 2017. Through this program, city representatives engaged thoughtfully with the people they serve in a relaxed atmosphere.