LEAP 2020

LEAP 2020.pngLet's LEAP together... one step at a time!

Libraries Engage Appreciatively for Positive Change (LEAP) 2020

MCLS, as a continuation of our partnership with the Library of Michigan and our shared Michigan Libraries Engage new-window-icon.png project, held a special virtual event on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 from 9:30am - 4:30pm Eastern for Michigan library staff of all levels.

In late 2019, we started planning the event that would become LEAP (Libraries Engage Appreciatively for Positive Change) as a way to bring the processes and practices of Appreciative Inquiry to Michigan libraries as part of their toolbox for community engagement. In the wake of disruptions and closures caused by COVID-19, libraries prioritized the need to reengage with their communities one conversation, one patron at a time. LEAP evolved into a virtual event designed to help libraries do just that!

LEAP Day, along with the six monthly LEAP Forward virtual facilitated learning and coaching sessions to follow, was intended to help participants feel equipped and inspired to work toward engaging their communities in new ways as we continue to navigate our mid-pandemic, and move toward a post-pandemic, world. Participants were introduced to processes and tools of Appreciative Inquiry to help them focus on their library’s strengths and build upon them in order to reconnect with their patrons and wider community.

Because the Library of Michigan wants to support Michigan library staff in growing their skills toward the goal of stronger community engagement, registration was highly subsidized and was just $40 per person, including all materials.

LEAP Day was attended by 74 staff members of various roles from 48 public and academic libraries all across the state of Michigan. The cohort will continue to engage with the community they began to form on November 5, and continue to grow their knowledge and understanding of Appreciative Inquiry through reading, practice, and six Zoom meetings from December 2020 through May 2021.

Who facilitated this program?

Maureen (Mo) McKenna of Return on Energy Consulting new-window-icon.png, an internationally respected and highly sought-out expert in the field of Appreciative Inquiry, facilitated the LEAP program along with MCLS's Engagement, Consulting, & Training team. Mo and members of the MCLS ECT Team will facilitate the LEAP Forward process.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to community engagement that focuses on positive aspects of change and drawing out and building on existing strengths. It also highlights the importance of collaborative conversations, dialogue, and stories.


Contact Jan at

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This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by the Library of Michigan.