LEAP 2021

LEAP-2021 logo.jpgWho's ready to LEAP together into positive change?

Libraries Engaging Appreciatively for Positive Change (LEAP) 2021

MCLS, as a continuation of our partnership with the Library of Michigan and our shared Michigan Libraries Engage new-window-icon.png project, will hold a special virtual event on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021 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) 2020 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! We hosted a cohort of 77 participants, and LEAP 2020 was a huge success. Now, we will bring a second cohort together to learn about Appreciative Inquiry and how it can benefit them as library staff and in their personal lives.

LEAP Day, along with six optional monthly LEAP Forward virtual facilitated learning and coaching sessions to follow, is 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 will be 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.

Who is this event for?

LEAP 2021 is open to library staff of ALL levels and roles, and will be of benefit to anyone working on (or interested in working on) engaging their community. It will also benefit those who would like to strengthen or deepen conversations with others. Because this program is funded by the Library of Michigan, it is only open to staff of Michigan libraries. The cohort can accommodate up to 100 participants.

Who will facilitate 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, will facilitate the LEAP 2021 event 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 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.

Requirements for attendance

LEAP is a highly interactive virtual experience which will include time in the large group and in small Zoom breakout rooms. To create a fruitful experience for all, attendees must have a microphone enabled and turn their cameras on for full participation, and attend the full day.

There are no other special qualifications needed to attend. We hope many of you from all roles in libraries will consider how this event can impact your work and relationships.

When and where?

Thursday, November 4, 2021
9:30am - 4:30pm Eastern
The event will be held over Zoom; registered participants will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event.


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


Registration is now open, first-come, first-served until full, through the MCLS Store!

Questions about registration?

Contact Gwen at

Questions about the LEAP program?

Contact Jan at

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