Libraries Transforming 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?
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 provides free funding information through more than 400 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.
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.