[Libs-Or] Fwd: [alacro-l] ALA, Harwood Institute release new tools to help libraries lead positive community change

Suzanne Sager bvss at pdx.edu
Mon Aug 31 09:59:48 PDT 2015


Suzanne L. Sager

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Don Wood <dwood at ala.org>
Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:52 AM
Subject: [alacro-l] ALA, Harwood Institute release new tools to help
libraries lead positive community change
To: "alacro-l at lists.ala.org" <alacro-l at lists.ala.org>

ALA, in partnership with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, has
released three new tools to help libraries engage their communities, focus
efforts where they are needed most and lead positive community change.

The tools are the final pieces of a set of community engagement resources
created for libraries as part of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities
initiative. Taken together, the collection — which includes worksheets,
conversation guides and webinars — teaches libraries to “turn outward,”
making their communities the reference point for the libraries’ work.

The new tools are designed for libraries that already have been putting the
“turning outward” approach to use, or those that have attended a Harwood
Institute training or orientation.

   - “Making It Stick with Staff”
    is a discussion guide to help libraries reflect on their changing
   outlook and make the “turning outward” approach part of their everyday work.

   - “Making Meaning of Data”
    helps libraries make sense of data about library usage and activity and
   use that information to create programs that better serves the community’s

   - “Tracking Your Progress
   provides a visual representation of the “turning outward” approach to help
   libraries visualize where they have been and where they are going next.

Deborah McCullough, deputy director of the Public Library of Youngstown and
Mahoning County in Ohio, said the “Making It Stick with Staff” tool helped
facilitate teamwork among her staff.

“‘Making It Stick with Staff’ was a great way to get staff to talk — and
everyone participated! —about what the library has done to implement
change,” McCullough said. “The questions were practical and specifically
designed to keep the conversation going, and yet allowed for reflection and

Created by The Harwood Institute, the “turning outward” approach emphasizes
taking steps to better understand communities; changing processes and
thinking to make conversations more community-focused; becoming more
proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.

Libraries and library professionals around the country are using this
approach to:

   - lead conversations with community members to better understand their
   goals and concerns;
   - develop library strategic plans that benefit the library and the
   greater community;
   - connect with underserved segments of the library’s service area;
   - overcome political gridlock; and
   - create professional development opportunities that meet the library
   system’s needs.

The full collection of “turning outward” resources — including a
90-day “Step-by-Step
Guide to ‘Turning Outward’ to Your Community”
 — can be downloaded, free of charge, at ala.org/LTC

The new tools were conceived with insight from the Libraries Transforming
Communities Public Innovators Cohort
a group of 10 public libraries selected to take part in an intensive,
18-month training into the “turning outward” approach.


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

Public Programs Office

American Library Association


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Suzanne L. Sager
Oregon ALA Representative
Portland State University Library
PO Box 1151
Portland, OR  97207-1151

Phone: 503-725-8169
Fax: 503-725-5799

email: sagers at pdx.edu
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