The work doesn’t end with the Community Dialogue. In fact, this is just the beginning. Be sure to send out a thank you note to all participants and ensure them that you will be following-up on what was discussed. If you collected participants’ email addresses, you can set up a mailing list for quick communication and to contact them about relevant events and programming.
You can also consider planning a STEM-related activity shortly after your Community Dialogue as a way to immediately engage your audience as one STAR Net pilot library did:
“We timed the Community Dialogue with a STEAM event the following Saturday. We had several different stations with learning tools and activities. The turnout was tremendous and it illustrated just how excited the community is about this kind of programming.”
– Kathy Condon-Boettcher, Director, Festus Public Library, Festus, MO
As a library, you will also want to schedule time to:
Reflect: Who should have been there that wasn’t? Are there any topics that arose that you need more information about? Who can you talk to about this? Try to address any gaps at future Community Dialogues.
Summarize and Plan: Go through your notes as a team. What were the big take-aways and action items? Determine who will be involved in putting a plan in place to follow-up on action items, and schedule future meetings to check the progress of this plan.
Do it all Again! Many libraries have reported conducting multiple dialogues to continue the conversation. No matter what you call it, keep the conversations moving forward!