Facilitation Training 2020

we can work it out.jpeg

Virtual trainings for Michigan library staff on leading effective meetings and conversations!

These trainings are purposely small in order to include a lot of personal attention and hands-on practice, so we encourage you to grab your spot fast!

Who will teach these workshops? we can work it out people.jpg

For the third year, we are happy to have these trainings taught by Mary and Sarah of We Can Work It Out, LLC. We Can Work It Out, LLC’s principal partners, Sarah Ross and Mary King new-window-icon.png, specialize in facilitating large group discussions and decision-making processes. Their facilitator training curricula draws upon 25 years of shared experience working with groups in public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and is grounded in a hands-on, practice-centered approach. Together, they bring a vibrant, dynamic approach to group decision-making processes with a relentless focus on finding agreement.

Who are these workshops for?

Skills taught and practiced can be used in a variety of settings including staff and work meetings, strategic planning sessions, one-on-one interactions with library patrons, library sponsored community conversations, and focus groups. They will include learning theory, as well as practice of skills and peer feedback. Because they are funded by the Library of Michigan, these trainings are only open to staff of Michigan libraries, but are open to and encouraged for those of all levels and roles.

What topics will these workshops cover?

This year's trainings have been updated and have different names in order to more fully express what we'll cover and who should attend. The content will be similar to the "Facilitation Training: Basic" and "Facilitation Trainings: Advanced (Coming to Agreement and Handling Conflict)" that were offered the past two years around the state. Those who have already attended those trainings in past years would find this to be a repeat of similar information.

This year's training sessions will be called:
The Facilitator’s Toolbox - Part 1: Make your meetings effective, efficient, and fun!
The Facilitator’s Toolbox - Part 2: Practical skills for responding to conflict and coming to agreement.

These sessions will also include some modeling of and information on hosting meetings virtually - a skill that will be all the more important for staff of libraries in our current and post-pandemic reality!

The trainings will be held this year on back-to-back dates, but will stand alone for registration.

Requirements for attendance

This will be a highly interactive virtual workshop, and you will gain hands-on practice and expert and peer feedback in using the facilitation tools that are taught. Attendees must have a microphone enabled and turn their cameras on for full participation, and attend the full day.

There are no special qualifications needed to attend Part 1; we hope many of you from all roles in libraries will consider how this training can impact your work leading and participating in meetings. There is a prerequisite to attend Part 2 that you either attend Part 1 first, or have already attended We Can Work It Out's "Basic" training through MCLS in 2018 or 2019. It will be important that all attendees at Part 2 start from the same place of knowledge and information in order to maximize the fruitfulness of the training.

When and where?

Monday, Sep. 21, Part 1
Tuesday, Sep. 22, Part 2
Monday, Sep. 28, Part 1 (full, registration closed)
Tuesday, Sep. 29, Part 2(full, registration closed)
Friday, Oct. 16, Part 1 (full - email for waiting list)
Monday, Oct. 19, Part 2 (full - email for waiting list)

Cost and workshop details:

All sessions will be 9:30am - 4pm, with an hour break for lunch. Because the Library of Michigan wants to support Michigan library staff in growing their skills toward the goal of stronger community engagement, registration is subsidized and is just $40 per person, and includes all materials.


Registration is now open! Click a date above, or visit the MCLS store to claim your spot today.

Questions? Contact Jan at

imls_logo_2c (002).jpg lib-mich.jpg

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