The ins and outs of hosting public forums at your library

Learn to convene and moderate community discussions in four free monthly online workshops presented through ProgrammingLibrarian.org with support from the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.



The nationally available workshops - a four-part series - are underway as free webinars, and explain how libraries, Friends of the Library, and other partners can support and host a community forum.

Nancy Kranich, Rutgers University Special Projects Librarian and School of Communication and Information Lecturer, will conduct the series.

The Web sessions, which will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. CST March 27, April 24 and May 22, must be signed up for separately

Part one of the series, which occurred February 28, is available in ProgrammingLibrarian.org's archive here under the title Getting Started: An Introduction to Convening Forums @ your library


Session Topics

(Taken from ProgrammingLibrarian.org)

Moderating Forums @ your library, Part 1--Nuts and Bolts

Tuesday, March 27

This session will cover what is involved in moderating a public deliberative forum in the library--how moderating is different from facilitating; how to promote deliberation; how to stay neutral but help people consider diverse perspectives; how to keep track of time and use an issue framework to help the group deliberate; and how to work with a forum recorder.

Click here to register


Moderating Forums @ your library, Part 2—Step-by-Step

Tuesday, April 24

This session will continue webinar #2--how to moderate and/or
record a public deliberative forum at the library; a step-by-step guide to making a deliberative forum work, from introducing the issue and participants and showing the video, to deliberating about approaches and finding common ground; and ideas about how to gain practice moderating discussions. 

Click here to register


Convening Forums @ your library--Nuts and Bolts

Tuesday, May 22

This session will cover the logistics and choices involved in planning to
hold a forum--choosing the issue topic; setting the date; preparing
the room and equipment; publicity; assigning moderators and recorders; participant registration; following up after the forum; and preparing issue-related resources for forum participants.

Click here to register

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