You are here

Would you like to take even greater pride in your work and profession? You can—by playing a major role in positioning your library as a vital and indispensable pillar of the community. This workshop is designed to teach you how to engage your community for maximum benefit by

  • Viewing libraries and their roles in new, innovative ways,
  • Engaging yourself effectively,
  • Linking the library to what the community values most,
  • Promoting the library successfully,
  • Heightening the library's visibility and stature, and
  • Capitalizing on the many benefits of establishing partnerships.

At the conclusion of this workshop you will have the skills and confidence you need to describe your library in terms that people understand and value, market the library succinctly and convincingly, and design a partnership plan.

Workshop Description: In this all-day interactive workshop, you will explore proven techniques for (1) assessing what the community values, (2) "selling" your library at every opportunity, (3) connecting with people, organizations, and businesses, and (4) developing successful partnerships. Through class discussion, individual analysis, and group exercises, you will develop a set of best practices for engaging your library's community. The instructor will provide handouts and practical tips to assist you in developing strategies that you can incorporate immediately into your work.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Aligning Library Services with Community Priorities and Values
    • Community engagement defined and why it is important
    • Understanding what the community values
    • Customer service philosophy
    • Education, economic development, quality of life
    • Aligning programs and services accordingly
  • Making Yourself and Your Library Visible
    • Shameless self-promotion
    • Everyone a leader
    • It is we who shape the customers' views
    • Smart terminology
    • Speak like a leader; confident message
    • The "elevator speech"
  • Identifying and Connecting with Communities and Stakeholders
    • The library is everywhere
    • Representing the library
    • Modified "elevator speeches"
    • Developing and maintaining outstanding relations
    • Getting involved
    • What to say to businesses
  • Pragmatic Partnering
    • Partnerships defined
    • Short-term and long-term partnerships
    • The benefits of partnering
    • The five factors
    • Developing a partnership
    • Why partnerships work

Workshop Instructor: Valerie Gross