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Overview

About Our Guide and Program

This guide provides information for public libraries on how to host and conduct Community Dialogues. It was originally developed as part of the STAR Library Network and it’s NASA@ My Library initiative. See Appendix A for more information about STAR Net. This guide is a tested and vetted resource for all public libraries to begin the conversations that can lead to building strong, durable relationships with their community. Read on to find out how opening your doors can open new doors!

Download Printable Guide
Download Teen-led Version
Background Information
Download Reflection Report

What Is A Community Dialogue?

A Community Dialogue is a loosely facilitated discussion that provides the opportunity for library staff and community leaders or members to discuss common, community-based challenges or aspirations.

Community Dialogues can help your library:

  • Expand your understanding of patrons’ feelings about their local library and its programs, including programming related to STEM
  • Obtain meaningful feedback from the community on who visits the library and why
  • Have a conversation about how the library can better serve ethnically, economically, and geographically underserved and underrepresented audiences
  • Better connect with local organizations and potential future partnersthat have shared interests with the library and community

These events are about more than leaving the room with a list of to-dos and answers to all the questions. Rather, they are about discussing topics and issues in an inclusive and uninhibited environment, with community representatives and stakeholders.

Community Dialogue Goals

  1. Strengthen librarians’ roles in establishing a STEM Learning Environment
  2. Identify underrepresented community groups
  3. Identify possible collaborations and partnerships within the community
  4. Contribute to developing a flexible Community Dialogue framework that all libraries can use

Library Quote:

“One of the challenges of working in libraries is that due to developments in technology, among other things, our targets are always shifting, and this is a great way to make sure we are on track to meet our patron’s needs.”
April Griffith, Carnegie Public Library

Photo Gallery:

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