ALA Unit/Subunit: PPO
Meeting Type: Preconference/Institute, Ticketed Event
Cost: Ticketed Event. Not included with registration. Visit the Ticketed Events Information Page for further details.
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 one-day workshop, participants from public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities will work with trainers from Conversation Café to learn to facilitate important, issues-based conversations for their communities using a model that is easily adaptable and requires minimal resources.
Conversation Café is a simple, open-source method for small group dialogues on a variety of topics. It is a 90-minute hosted conversation, held in a public setting, where anyone is welcome to join. The simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants it a chance to speak (or even just listen). Conversation Cafés are great for helping community members learn more about themselves, their community or an issue.
Participants in this session will experience a dialogue and deliberation session using the Conversation Café model and learn the logistics of hosting a session of their own. Attendees will acquire facilitation skills for leading the Café process, including how to identify a topic and develop questions that stimulate discussion. Participants will also learn how to address challenges and encourage respectful dialogue on tough topics. At the end of the session, attendees will walk away with a deep understanding of the Conversation Café process; materials and guidance that will them organize Cafes in their libraries; and knowledge of how to transfer these skills to others so the library can expand its capacity to engage community members.
Please Note: This event is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. This workshop is the culminating session of a dialogue and deliberation series designed for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and/or rural communities. Registration for this free training is by application only (apply.ala.org/LTC2018/). To be eligible, participants are required to be from a public library serving a small, mid-sized and/or rural community, view the free three-part webinar series, and read the related readings. For more information, visit www.ala.org/LTC.
LTC: Models for Change is made possible through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).