LEAP Indiana 2022


Libraries Engaging Appreciatively for Positive Change (LEAP) 2022

MCLS, in partnership with the Library of Michigan, developed and offered a program in 2020 and 2021 to introduce Appreciative Inquiry and how library staff can use it to engage their communities and re-frame interactions with staff and patrons. In 2022, it was Indiana's turn!

What is LEAP?

In 2019, MCLS Engagement, Consulting, & Training staff worked with Maureen (Mo) McKenna Return on Energy Consulting new-window-icon.png, an internationally respected and highly sought-out expert in the field of Appreciative Inquiry, to begin planning the program that would become LEAP (Libraries Engage Appreciatively for Positive Change) 2020 as a way to bring the processes and practices of Appreciative Inquiry to libraries as part of their toolbox for community engagement. This program was funded by the Library of Michigan, and available to Michigan library staff. 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! We hosted a cohort of 77 participants, and LEAP 2020 was a huge success. In November 2021, we brought a second Michigan cohort together to learn about Appreciative Inquiry and how it can benefit them as library staff and in their personal lives.

In 2022, we were so excited that in being awarded an ARPA grant from the Indiana State Library, we had the opportunity to form an Indiana cohort, to spread this learning and positive change over our full region!

LEAP Day, along with six optional monthly LEAP Forward virtual facilitated learning and coaching sessions to follow, was intended to help participants feel equipped and inspired to work toward engaging (and re-engaging) their communities in new ways as we continue to navigate our mid-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. The learning can also be applied to strengthening every conversation in life, from personal to professional. Each year's content was updated to strive to meet library staff where they are, considering the context of the region and world that year.

Who was this event for?

LEAP 2022 was open to library staff of ALL levels and roles, at all types of libraries, and was of benefit to anyone working on (or interested in working on) engaging their community. It also benefited those who wanted to strengthen or deepen conversations with others and strive for positive changes in their lives and world. Because this program was funded by an ARPA grant and the Indiana State Library, it was only open to staff of Indiana libraries. The cohort included 39 participants from libraries across the state of Indiana.

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 and co-creator of the LEAP program, facilitated LEAP 2022 along with MCLS's Engagement, Consulting, & Training team. Mo and members of the MCLS ECT team facilitated the LEAP Forward process from February - July.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry is a tested and respected 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.

When and where?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
9:30am - 4:30pm Eastern (8:30am - 3:30pm Central)
The event was held over Zoom, as were the month coaching sessions


Because the Indiana State Library wants to support Indiana library staff in growing their skills toward the goal of stronger community engagement, registration was highly subsidized by the grant and was just $40 per person, including all materials, a supplemental text, and all six coaching sessions.

Questions about the LEAP program?

Contact MCLS's Engagement, Consulting, & Training team at

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This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.” To learn more, visit www.imls.govnew-window-icon.png and follow IMLS on Facebooknew-window-icon.png, Twitternew-window-icon.png, and Instagramnew-window-icon.png.