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Introduction to Asset Based Community Development: Discovering & Unleashing Local Abundance
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
PLEASE NOTE: This is a special offering of this course, sponsored by the California State Library as part of the 2019/2020 Metrics grant. Registration is now open for this course. There is no cost to registrants – but space is limited to the first 50 who register. This course is only open to individuals working in a California library.
Instructor: April Doner
- Would you like to learn a practical approach to community engagement?
- Do you want to rediscover and maximize the energy, creativity, capacities and caring that exist in your community?
Lately, it seems we hear "community engagement" about 5 times a day. But what does this term really mean? Using the lens, tools, and practices presented by Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), we can rediscover and maximize the energy, creativity, capacities and caring that exist in every neighborhood and city.
Based on the premise that "there is no one we don't need" and the old organizing maxim, "Never do anything for someone they can do for themselves," ABCD offers a balanced, practical approach to community engagement. You and your library can use ABCD to engage in a relationship of mutual exchange, contribution and transformative co-creation with community members. Find ways to also "lead by stepping back" to create space for residents to play a leading role in the community's future.
Through this course, you will learn how to:
- Discover what community members care about enough to take action,
- Partner effectively with them to build a widening circle of care and contribution,
- Engage the gifts and talents of marginalized individuals and groups, and
- Learn what resources and support your organization can offer that will most authentically support the community's aspirations and desires.
Course Description: This four-week online course will provide learners with the opportunity to learn about Asset Based Community Development and its practical applications for libraries. Through assignments and discussions, you will learn to use practical tools for change. The instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately. You will apply the concepts learned to your own library and community.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1: ABCD History and Overview
- What is ABCD? What practices, principles and questions drive it?
- ABCD works well in relation to other approaches such as collective impact, deliberative dialogue, the Harwood "turning outward," appreciative inquiry and art of hosting practices.
- Week 2: The 6 Assets: Neighborhood as a Treasure Chest
- Why begin with assets rather than needs?
- Learn to use the ABCD typology of 6 Assets
- Week 3: Institutions Leading by Stepping Back
- How can libraries "lead by stepping back" to allow community members a chance to re-strengthen their civic muscles and rediscover their assets and agency?
- Learn how doing ABCD work involves stepping into an "alongsider" role to encourage work "by" – not just "with," "for," or "to" community members.
- Week 4: Tools for Change: Learning Conversations & Asset Mapping
- Understand and use the ABCD tool for change: Learning Conversations.
- Understand and use the ABCD tool for change: Asset Mapping
Pre-course Assignment: Read pages 2 – 6 in The Engaged Library (PDF format).
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 3 hours per week, for a total of twelve course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments and discussions. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Library staff, board members, and volunteers who want to focus on building strong libraries and communities by working alongside their community members.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.