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Big Programs, Little Budget: Forging Community Partnerships in a Small Town

Meservey, Iowa, is tiny — fewer than 250 residents —  and the library’s budget is tight. Despite this, the Meservey Public Library has managed to triple its program attendance in the past few years and create many memorable, budget-friendly events. 

Drawing on her experience as director of the Meservey Public Library, Chelsea Price will share ideas for hosting "big" programs on a small budget and discuss how partnerships can be an invaluable resource for programming. 

Participants of this session will:

Defining Community Engagement and Outreach

Man and woman stand to the side of a conference room talking.

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

Two groups of people sit at two tables and participate in a meeting.

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.

Out of the Shadows

Two librarians talk to three young women about the dangers of sex trafficking.

After staff had an encounter with a possible sex trafficking victim, the San Diego Public Library took action and won a grant that funded the Out of the Shadows program.

Staff acknowledged that disseminating sex trafficking information to raise awareness was essential, as was joining forces with the community and experts to ensure the program’s success and effectiveness.

Connecting Sentences

Speaker at Connecting Sentences exhibition

Writing is an agent of change. It begins with a sentence and leads to a connection, a kinship with a reader and the building of a community. It grows into a realization that each of us has a story to tell that emerges from the sum of our best — and worst — moments.

Art on the Brain

Art brain

Art MeetUp participantsI am no artist, but I really love the excitement and creativity that comes with hosting art programs in the library. I just spent the last year working on a project called Art MeetUp where I worked with several of my CCCL colleagues. First, I'd like to give a big shout-out to my library peeps Seng Lovan, Christian Gendron, Jeff Gibson, and Stephen DeFrank!

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