Tagged IMLS

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Community Engagement

Chera Kowalski is the Assistant to the Chief of Staff at the Free Library of Philadelphia and a participant in Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries trainings. The Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training…

The Journey to Understanding Libraries: A Library Assistant’s Story

Sa-de Brown is a Library Assistant at Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library and a participant in Cohort 2 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries trainings. "Life is a journey not a…

Go Digital! Community Access to Subscription Databases

Tamoul Quakhaan is a Library Supervisor 1 / Training and Development Assistant in the Human Resources Department and a participant in Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries Trainings.  After participating in the…

Connecting Special Collections with the Cultural and Educational Needs of Philadelphia’s Islamic Populations: Starting the Dialogue

Joe Shemtov is a Special Collections Coordinator and Primary Source Specialist, and a participant in Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries trainings.  In October. I had the pleasure to complete Skills for…

McPherson Square Library Photography Exhibit Spotlights Neighborhood Strengths

Tuesday Chalmers is an Adult/Teen Librarian at McPherson Square Library , and a member of Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training. In this post, she explains the project she worked on after attending the…

Expanding Legal Literacy in Neighborhood Libraries

Storm Rhodes is a Library Assistant at the David Cohen Ogontz Library , and a member of Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training. In this post, she shares what she has learned. The most influential things I have…

Strategic Planning Prioritizes Community Connections

You’ve been reading about how libraries are increasingly moving beyond our brick and mortar structures and into the communities we serve, but how, you might ask, does this work reflect back to the strategic direction of the Free…

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries: Learning through Experience

“Tell me and I forget.Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Xun Kuang, philosopher   Imagine trying to learn to knit. Would you learn best by reading a book about knitting? Hearing a friend talk about…

Skills Training for Community-Centered Libraries: Building Your Library Team

Our first cohort of staff members participating in the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training recently learned about and explored team roles and dynamics. Staff reflected on their own strengths and what attributes they bring…

Defining Community Engagement and Outreach

The Skills for Community-Centered Libraries initiative – a series of trainings meant to build community engagement capacities among staff – launched on October 2, so it’s a good time for The Free Library of…

Conversations Between Libraries and Communities Spark Program Ideas

In a previous post, we shared some stories about how meetings between libraries and other community organizations can lead to what the American Library Association calls the “domino effect of positive results.” One potential…

Connecting with Local Organizations Builds Library Community Engagement

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Cluster Leaders – staff who supervise 5 to 8 neighborhood libraries grouped together geographically – recently discussed what the American Library Association calls the "domino…

The Leaders We Have Been Waiting For

“We are the leaders we have been waiting for.” Grace Lee Boggs, Philosopher and Activist   The Free Library of Philadelphia is full of leaders, and so are the neighborhoods in which we are located. To foster…

National and Local Trends Inform Development of Upcoming Community-Centered Libraries Trainings

As communities’ needs and desires change, libraries and staff are adapting and evolving with them. Long gone are the days when librarians mostly sat behind desks fielding reference questions. Libraries now define and develop their…

New Training on Community-Centered Libraries Starts in October

The Aspen Institute’s influential report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries , predicts that in the coming years, the most successful public libraries will be the ones with services that prioritize and…