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Library Community Conversations 2016 continue Aug-Sep

Indiana and Michigan library staff are invited to attend one of 11 Community Conversations to be held in August and September. There will be six held in central and northern Indiana, and five held in northern and western Michigan. The purpose of these conversations is to gather information about the needs of the library community and to explore your hopes, concerns, and aspirations. This spring we held rounds of conversations in both states and already have talked to over 150 library staff. We look forward to continuing this conversation and sharing what we learned from you.

The process used for facilitating these conversations is based on the work of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. Our purpose is to gain public knowledge of what really matters to libraries and to begin taking steps to actualize the library community’s aspirations. The last series of conversations were held in December 2014. Several themes emerged from those conversations, and we want to keep the momentum going and dig a little deeper into these topics:

  • The evolving role of libraries in our local communities
  • Measuring impact
  • Skills needed for the 21st-century library
  • Mentoring new librarians and emerging leaders
  • The state of information literacy and critical thinking skills of students/the reduction of librarians in our schools

We need input from libraries of all types, sizes, and geographic areas to make this effort an authentic representation of Indiana and Michigan libraries. Please consider joining us and sharing your thoughts, challenges, and hopes for our greater  library community. You do not have to be an expert. We want you to speak openly and candidly from your experience and point of view.

The dates, times, and locations are listed below. All library staff are welcome. To have a meaningful conversation, we will limit the number of attendees at each session to 12. Because of this, we request that you consider limiting the number of attendees from your library system. Registration is free and on a “first come, first served” basis. A waiting list will be kept. As in our first round, the meetings will be kept to 2 hours.

Indiana conversations:

  • August 22, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne
  • August 26, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Indianapolis Public Library-Library Services Center, Indianapolis
  • August 30, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library, Zionsville
  • August 31, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Central) Lake County Public Library, Merrillville
  • September 1, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, Mishawaka
  • September 2, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Indianapolis Public Library-Library Services Center, Indianapolis

Register for an Indiana Community Conversation>> new-window-icon.png. For any questions, please contact Michelle Bradley at

Michigan conversations:

  • August 16, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Peter White Library, Marquette MI (Shiras Room), Marquette
  • August 17, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Bayliss Library, Sault St. Marie
  • August 23, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Traverse Area District Library Woodmere (main) branch, Traverse City
  • August 24, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Fremont Area District Library, Fremont
  • August 25, 2016 from 10am-12pm (Eastern) Presque Isle District Library, Rogers City

Register for a Michigan Community Conversation>>new-window-icon.png. For any questions, please contact David Votta at

For more information about the Harwood Institute, please visit their website. For more information about our involvement and interest in the Harwood process, please visit the MCLS website.