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Michigan community engagement training

The Library of Michigan and MCLS are offering a robust, extensive, and essentially free community engagement training opportunity.

The Library of Michigan and MCLS are pleased to announce a several month long community engagement training program for Michigan library staff. The training will be led by coaches from the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, and is being offered at no charge to selected Michigan libraries, with generous stipends provided through Library of Michigan LSTA funding.

The program

On March 15 and 16, 2016, a cohort of up to 50 Michigan library staff will convene in East Lansing, Michigan for a 1.5 day workshop led by two certified Harwood Institute coaches. That training will be followed up by nine months of coaching calls from Harwood, and guidance and support from Harwood trained Library of Michigan and MCLS staff.

The Harwood Public Innovators Workshop is a 1.5 day experience to help you and your organization learn what it means to turn outward — to use the community, not your conference room, as your reference point for choices and action.

Although free of charge to participate, this program will be rigorous. With support and guidance from MCLS and the Library of Michigan, cohort members are expected to develop action plans, implement those plans, and demonstrate how their efforts are making a change in their communities. Only those who can commit the time and energy are encouraged to participate.

The Library of Michigan and MCLS have been using the tools of the Harwood Institute and sharing them with libraries since 2013. We are excited to be able to support training for a cohort of Michigan library staff.


  • Applicants must be an employee or trustee of a Michigan library.
  • Applicants may be from any type of library; academic, public, school, institutional or special.
  • A maximum of 2 persons per library will be awarded scholarships.
    • It is strongly encouraged that applications include two persons. Applications including two persons will be ranked higher based on our criteria.
    • Collaborative applications with two individuals from different libraries in geographic proximity are welcomed, and will receive the same ranking as two individuals from the same library.

The award

  • Those awarded this opportunity will receive free tuition for the training and follow-up support.
  • Those awarded will receive stipends for two nights hotel lodging (strongly encouraged March 14 and 15) and travel expenses. The stipends will be on a sliding scale depending on the distance of travel from Lansing, MI:
    • Zone 1 (Less than 100 miles from Lansing, MI) the library will receive $395 for a single person, and an additional $295 for the second.
    • Zone 2 (100-250 miles from Lansing, MI) the library will receive $545 for a single person, and an additional $295 for the second.
    • Zone 3 (More than 250 miles from Lansing, MI) the library will receive $795 for a single person, and an additional $295 for the second.
    • It is encouraged for participants to carpool to conserve resources when possible.
    • In the event of a collaborative submission please note in the application which library/participant is responsible for transportation. A space is included in the application for this.

Meals are included and will be onsite, except for dinner/dine-around on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, which is factored into the travel stipend. Lodging and the workshop will take place at the Kellogg Center on Michigan State University’s campus.

There will be a pre-workshop dinner held Monday evening, March 14, 2016, at the Kellogg Center.


  • Applications must be submitted by 5pm (EST), December 21, 2015.
  • Notification to recipients will be on or before January 15, 2016. Checks (payable to the library) will soon follow.
    • Recipients will need to make their own hotel reservations. It is encouraged to make the reservations as soon as possible after notification. A link to register for the hotel will be available at at the time of notification.

The application

  • A link to the downloadable application is available in MS Word on the Michigan Harwood Cohort 2016 webpage at
  • Applications should be emailed to David Votta, Community Engagement Librarian at


Send any questions to David Votta, MCLS Community Engagement Librarian, at or call David at 800-530-9019 ext. 122.

Learn more about our work with the Harwood Institute.