“Now We’re Talking” Program Helps Libraries Become Community Living Rooms

May 24 2012

In late 2009, the California Council for the Humanities and Center for Civic Reflection launched an initiative called "Making a Difference" (MAD), providing library staff in Riverside County, California with training in facilitating civic dialogue and resources to build public programming focused on topics of community concern. The goal of MAD was to help libraries transform themselves into "community living rooms" -- places where community members not only think and read alone, but build community and talk across difference together.

The success of MAD led to the Spring 2012 creation of "Now We're Talking," a California Council for the Humanities program focused on strengthening libraries as hubs of civic life. The "Now We're Talking" program trains librarians and other library staff to facilitate meaningful dialogue and create safe spaces for community exchange. The program uses the Center for Civic Reflection as a training partner and has used CCR's resources, workshop model, and evaluation tools to create this customized program for librarians.

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