Community engagement

a chat with Nancy Kranich, former ALA President, Lecturer and Special Projects Librarian at Rutgers University

  1. Welcome to our Third Thursday chat! #mclschat
  2. Q1: What is the difference between community engagement and outreach? #mclschat
  3. Outreach takes the library to the community. Engagement does that + brings them back to the library. #mclschat
  4. Outreach: For community; Engagement: With community #mclschat
  5. Outreach: One way; Engagement: Relationship building #mclschat
  6. Outreach: Deepens relationships with current stakeholders; Engagement: grows out of relationships #mclschat
  7. Outreach: Extends organization’s reach; Engagement: Factors in the interests of the community #mclschat
  8. A1: Engagement can happen online & in person. #mclschat
  9. Love the idea of embeddedness. It's an academic library engagement path too! #mclschat
  10. Embedded can be in the local @MichWorksAssn office working w/job seekers & showing #meldatabases #mclschat
  11. Outreach: Provides services to underserved populations at their locations; Raises awareness of existing services #mclschat
  12. Outreach Fills service gaps. Keeps “outreacher” at center #mclschat
  13. Q2: Why is community engagement that important? #mclschat
  14. I'm keeping my customer's goals in mind, and how I can meet their needs. Not how they can meet library's needs. #mclschat
  15. Focuses us on community and on impact, not inputs or outcomes #mclschat
  16. Allows us to make a real difference in people’s lives #mclschat
  17. A2: Gone are the days when we sit back & wait for people to come to the library; they are the library! #mclschat
  18. Community engagement keeps libs in the forefront, not an afterthought. #mclschat
  19. Yes, they are the library! And we need to get out from behind our edifice complex! #mclschat
  20. Communities welcome opportunities for greater involvement and are eager to join these efforts #mclschat
  21. A2: community engagement lets us show what we have & how it contributes to a locale. #mclschat
  22. Deepens our institution’s involvement and strengthens our relationships with our communities #mclschat
  23. How do we contribute is a really important question. What is our value??? #mclschat
  24. Also displays our commitment to our communities #mclschat
  25. Then we may as well be talking to ourselves. #mclschat
  26. Commitment--a really important point. Too often we seem committed to our library alone #mclschat
  27. Enables libraries to span boundaries that connect people #mclschat
  28. Provides pathway for people to engage across divides. #mclschat
  29. A2: commitment shows we understand & respect the community #mclschat
  30. Especially fun when people dance well together. It's a tango! #mclschat
  31. Absolutely, understanding the community is essential. Public knowledge is what we call it. It shows empathy.. #mclschat
  32. We really are translators. We bring needs of community back to the library when we engage. #mclschat
  33. Helps us know our value, uncover where we fit, and recognize the challenges we can address #mclschat
  34. How do we go about starting to engage with the community? #mclschat
  35. A2: it can require that a library leave behind their pre-conceptions & listen to what's being expressed #mclschat
  36. Thank for the question @AnnaZichiCurtis! We are about to "go there"! #mclschat
  37. Yes, bring people back but also meet people where the are. On campus, we get into the flow of our users #mclschat
  38. Positions us as leaders and change agents. Connects us more closely to our constituents #mclschat
  39. We are finding that people don't want to come to classes. So we do 1:1 tech training. #mclschat
  40. Accelerates change and progress in our communities. Brings people together #mclschat
  41. How do we go with the flow? Find new ways to deliver our services... #mclschat
  42. Strengthens our relationships with our communities. Roots our work and decision in what matters to people #mclschat
  43. "Insert" the library in community discussions; be visible & in non-traditional ways - parades, fairs, walks, farmers markets, #mclschat
  44. Think about what people are telling us if they no longer want to come to classes. Do you use ? #mclschat
  45. Community festivities are how communities build identities and social capital. Yes, show up and be a part! #mclschat
  46. Yes we do have . Going to show how it works next month at a women's shelter! :) #mclschat
  47. Shifts from library as container for stuff to become catalyst and civic agent. Enables democratic discourse #mclschat
  48. We have , but only staff use, never used for patrons....good thought #mclschat
  49. Talk to people who might be receptive. Find allies. Get your trustees and administrators on board #mclschat
  50. Meet with those who can influence others Start talking about different ways of doing things #mclschat
  51. I created categories for myself. Then finding the orgs that fit those categories, then contacting them all. #mclschat
  52. Build upon existing relationships and sphere of influence. Work your network #mclschat
  53. It does help if you know someone who has a few connections. Quick success is very nourishing! #mclschat
  54. What kind of categories did you create, Melissa? #mclschat
  55. I am new to my area and I have volunteer as a Chamber Ambassador and try to help with as much as I can. #mclschat
  56. Senior centers, shelters, food banks, veterans, health orgs to start #mclschat
  57. Chamber ambassador role sounds like a real keeper! #mclschat
  58. Find an organization that needs volunteers, content for their newsletter, speaker for mtgs. #mclschat
  59. Farmer's markets and local recreational paths on my list but not sure what I'm going to do with them. #mclschat
  60. Involve thought leaders and those with fingers on the pulse. Create a team. Need early win to fuel progress #mclschat
  61. Begin to talk to your library team about hopes and goals. Use the ASK exercise about aspirations as a starter at the market #mclschat
  62. Set up a booth at the FM & have a kid's activity; sign people up for a library card, bring a chair & do a short story hr, #mclschat
  63. We did Legos at Rutgers Day last year and kids loved the library booth!!!! #mclschat
  64. Use the Turn Quiz to get a sense of how outward you are—both individually and as an organization #mclschat
  65. Print off some Brookie coloring pages from the MeL Kids Gateway & talk MeL ! #mclschat
  66. Turn Quiz is a great tool from Harwood. On the Libraries Transform Communities site. #mclschat
  67. Put in place the thought processes that will lead to long term change #mclschat
  68. Define pathway-- Clarify what you want to strive for #mclschat
  69. Build relationships with people connected to missing groups and voices. Start with small steps #mclschat
  70. I think you need to clearly decide on what you're going to say before taking it to the streets. #mclschat
  71. Ask "Tell me about your organization" instead of immediately trying to sell the library. #mclschat
  72. Q4: Do you need specialized training? #mclschat
  73. No, but tapping into the resource on the Libraries Transform Community site can help. #mclschat
  74. Attending a Harwood Innovator’s Lab was transformative for me and gave me the tools and confidence to get started. #mclschat
  75. What helps is training on how to facilitate/moderate dialogue #mclschat
  76. Training on various dialogic processes is also helpful; e.g. work cafes, open space, appreciative inquiry, deliberative dialogue #mclschat
  77. Yes, asking about them rather then feeling the need to deliver information is perfect #mclschat
  78. Initiative coordinators often need to act as: coach, spokesperson, liaison, confidant, recorder, reporter, facilitator #mclschat
  79. Other skills: strategist, host, bull’s-eye, head cook and dishwasher, magnet, glue, observer, cheerleader, and referee. #mclschat
  80. Q5: Who should be doing the engagement work? #mclschat
  81. Anyone with a passion for community and making a difference. #mclschat
  82. People not afraid to jump in and listen, take risks, do new things, think together, innovate #mclschat
  83. A diverse group is best, include community stakeholders #mclschat
  84. Q6: What do you learn from your engagement efforts? #mclschat
  85. Public knowledge—what people in your community want and what they’re struggling with. #mclschat
  86. Who people trust. Who are part of people’s networks. What matters to people so you can root your work and decisions #mclschat
  87. Identify key issues and their connections in language that people use. Translator in reverse! #mclschat
  88. Uncover a sense of common purpose. Set realistic goals. Inform choices so work is more relevant and has greater impact #mclschat
  89. Q7: What do you do with this new information? #mclschat
  90. Use it to learn and then develop innovative ways to move forward. Identify partners and opportunities. #mclschat
  91. Expand ideas of what’s possible when we turn outwards. LEARN. Calibrate our efforts to the community’s aspirations and concerns #mclschat
  92. A7: you integrate it & use during library planning & activities #mclschat
  93. Q8: How can you measure these new projects and initiatives? #mclschat
  94. When the community increases its capacity to “concert”—to work together, this is progress. #mclschat
  95. We should consider both organizational and individual impact #mclschat
  96. Organizational: Develop new orientation, approaches and capacities for libraries through this work. Turn outward #mclschat
  97. Organizational Impact: Stronger emphasis on authentic engagement. Increased capacity to engage with the community #mclschat
  98. Stronger set of relationships for moving ahead and acting upon community priorities #mclschat
  99. A8: by capturing anecdotal success stories - the library helped me get a job, find x, get online... #mclschat
  100. Measuring Individual Impact: Change how individuals think about and work within communities #mclschat
  101. Stories are central to community engagement. Think how we are advancing the community--capacity building to work together #mclschat
  102. Changes in individuals’ orientation toward community. New practices and skills that enable embedded authentic engagement efforts #mclschat
  103. Last question - What can libraries expect to see happening if they are successful? #mclschat
  104. More visibility, invited to the table or, better still, setting the table. Inclusion in other community initiatives #mclschat
  105. I keep telling my staff that they are all community ambassadors. KEEP THINGS POSITIVE. Turn the negative thinking to POSITIVE! #mclschat
  106. Greater value, more support, participation by those who never used the library. Greater sense of the whole, feeling connected #mclschat
  107. Focus on “collaborative roles” or “partnership roles” rather than service roles #mclschat
  108. Great conversation. Thank you @nkranich! Thank you everyone for participating! #mclschat
  109. Thank you so much @nkranich & @mclsorg & library folks. Great conversation. see you next mth. #mclschat #mclschat