Resources

Libraries Transforming Communities

LTC is an ALA initiative that seeks to strengthen libraries’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents by developing and distributing tools and support for library professionals to “turn outward” toward their communities.

What is “turning outward”?

“Turning outward” — a method created by the non-profit Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities partner — emphasizes a shift in orientation from internal (library-focused) to external (community-focused). This change is achieved through practical steps: taking measures to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make your library‘s work more community-focused; being proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.

What is the goal?

LTC will help libraries become more reflective of and connected to their communities and achieve a domino effect of positive results, including stronger relationships with local civic agencies, non-prots, funders and corporations, and greater community investment in civility, collaboration, education, health and well-being. ALA also hopes to shift public discourse away from past themes about libraries in crisis and toward talk of libraries as agents of positive community change.

What resources are available through LTC, and where can I find them?

Visit ala.org/LTC to download free resources, including guides to help your team organize and facilitate community conversations; informational webinars designed for library professionals and led by Harwood Institute educators; worksheets to help you and your staff identify how you approach community engagement; and tools to help you remain engaged and rejuvenated, professionally and personally.

Libraries Transforming Communities is made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Foundation Center

he Foundation Center provides free funding information through more than 470 Funding Information Network locations— libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers located across the U.S. and several countries. Texas boasts 19 such resource centers covering nearly the entire Lone Star state.

A key initiative of the Foundation Center is to reach under-resourced and underserved populations throughout the United States and in other locations around the globe, who are in need of useful information and training to become successful grantseekers.

Find a center near you
Arlington | Arlington Public Library
Austin | Regional Foundation Library
Beaumont | Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center
Dallas | Dallas Public Library
Denton | University of North Texas
Edinburg | Southwest Border Nonprofit Resource Center
El Paso | University of Texas at El Paso
Fort Worth | Center for Nonprofit Management
Houston | Houston Public Library
Houston | United Way of Greater Houston
Kingsville | Texas A&M University – Kingsville
Laredo | Texas A&M International University
Longview | Longview Public Library
Lubbock | Community Foundation of West Texas
San Angelo | Tom Green County Public Library
San Antonio | San Antonio Area Foundation
Temple | Temple Public Library
Tyler | United Way of Tyler/Smith County
Victoria | Victoria College/University of Houston
Waco | Waco-McLennan County Library
Wichita Falls | Nonprofit Management Center of Wichita Falls
Arlington | Arlington Public Library
Austin | Regional Foundation Library
Beaumont | Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center
Dallas | Dallas Public Library
Denton | University of North Texas
Edinburg | Southwest Border Nonprofit Resource Center
El Paso | University of Texas at El Paso
Fort Worth | Center for Nonprofit Management
Houston | Houston Public Library
Houston | United Way of Greater Houston
Kingsville | Texas A&M University – Kingsville
Laredo | Texas A&M International University
Longview | Longview Public Library
Lubbock | Community Foundation of West Texas
San Angelo | Tom Green County Public Library
San Antonio | San Antonio Area Foundation
Temple | Temple Public Library
Tyler | United Way of Tyler/Smith County
Victoria | Victoria College/University of Houston
Waco | Waco-McLennan County Library
Wichita Falls | Nonprofit Management Center of Wichita Falls

Edge Initiative

Edge is a groundbreaking, first of its kind management and leadership tool, helping libraries create a path for the continuous growth and development of their public technology services. Edge was created with the vision that all people should have opportunities to enrich and improve their lives through open access to information, communication, and technology services provided by public libraries.

Through an easy to use suite of tools, Edge supports libraries in making strategic decisions and identifying areas for improvement. The Edge Toolkitgives libraries a look into their local data, from operations to partnerships and programming, to assess how their community is using the technology and how best practices can be put into place to align future growth and services with community priorities. It also provides useful resources to package and showcase the data to other community leaders.

If your library is thinking about writing a grant for new technology, completing the assessment is a great place to start. Not only will the Edge assessment help you focus on your areas of greatest need, it will also provide guidance on how to move forward using their training webinars and other resources.

Arlington | Arlington Public Library
Austin | Regional Foundation Library
Beaumont | Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center
Dallas | Dallas Public Library
Denton | University of North Texas
Edinburg | Southwest Border Nonprofit Resource Center
El Paso | University of Texas at El Paso
Fort Worth | Center for Nonprofit Management
Houston | Houston Public Library
Houston | United Way of Greater Houston
Kingsville | Texas A&M University – Kingsville
Laredo | Texas A&M International University
Longview | Longview Public Library
Lubbock | Community Foundation of West Texas
San Angelo | Tom Green County Public Library
San Antonio | San Antonio Area Foundation
Temple | Temple Public Library
Tyler | United Way of Tyler/Smith County
Victoria | Victoria College/University of Houston
Waco | Waco-McLennan County Library
Wichita Falls | Nonprofit Management Center of Wichita Falls

Additional Resources

21st Century Library
This blog offers a collaborative forum for the library community, and anyone else interested in the subject of creating 21st Century libraries and librarians.
learn more
American Library Association
ALA provides association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users.
learn more
Association of Rural and Small Libraries
ARSL strives to create resources and services that address national, state, and local priorities for libraries in rural communities.
learn more
Better World Books
Collection and sales of books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.
learn more
Geek the Library
Spreading awareness about the value of libraries and the critical funding issues they face.
learn more
Grant Station
Tools for building grant programs.
learn more
The Harwood Institute
Turning outward makes the community and the people the reference point for getting things done.
learn more
GuideStar
Get IRS data, plus more up-to-date information from nonprofits for free.
learn more
Institute of Museum and Library Services
The federal agency tasked with overseeing and supporting museums and libraries through research, policy development and grantmaking.
learn more
IMPACT Survey from Univ of Washington iSchool
The ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it impacts their lives.
learn more
Texas Book Festival
Celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.
learn more
 
Do a thorough assessment with your patrons and other stakeholders to focus your request on the areas of greatest need. Example, what would your teens like to see; what do your crafters need; ask moms and teachers for their thoughts regarding the children’s area, etc.
Betty Roether
Pottsboro Area Public Library | Pottsboro, TX