Mary Davis Fournier is Deputy Director of the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office where she specializes in national partnerships, new project development, and programs support for public, school and academic libraries. An experienced arts administrator and cultural programmer, her past experiences include directing Chicago’s Printers Row Book Fair (now Lit Fest), programming for the Miami Book Fair International. She is active in Chicago’s nonprofit community and currently co-chairs the board of Chicago Women in Philanthropy. She holds a M.Ed. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a B.A. in History and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
- About the Authors
Foreword by Tracie D. Hall
Community engagement isn’t simply an important component of a successful library—it’s the foundation upon which every service, offering, and initiative rests. Working collaboratively with community members—be they library customers, residents, faculty, students or partner organizations— ensures that the library works, period. This important resource from ALA’s Public Programs Office (PPO) provides targeted guidance on how libraries can effectively engage with the public to address a range of issues for the betterment of their community, whether it is a city, neighborhood, campus, or something else. Featuring contributions by leaders active in library-led community engagement, it’s designed to be equally useful as a teaching text for LIS students and a go-to handbook for current programming, adult services, and outreach library staff. Balancing practical tools with case studies and stories from field, this collection explores such key topics as
- why libraries belong in the community engagement realm;
- getting the support of board and staff;
- how to understand your community;
- the ethics and challenges of engaging often unreached segments of the community;
- identifying and building engaged partnerships;
- collections and community engagement;
- engaged programming; and
- outcome measurement.
Sharing numerous examples of successful change, dialogue and deliberation, and collaborative efforts, this book offers a comprehensive look at community engagement work that can help all libraries reinforce their roles as champions of lifelong learning.