Libraries and Democratic Life: Promoting Civic Engagement


Adam Davis




Libraries and Democratic Life: Promoting Civic Engagement




Libraries are ideally situated to nurture... democratic practices. Libraries are open to all; they contain books and other materials that can provide people with a common experience and vocabulary... Libraries, which are often seen as products of democracy, can also be seen as engines of democracy, as places where people go to engage with one another and to begin making a difference.


--Adam Davis

Director, Center for Civic Reflection


Civic EngagementCommunity Development


​Adam Davis is the Director of the Center for Civic Reflection. In his article, "Libraries and Democratic Life: Promoting Civic Engagement," published in Programming Librarian in November 2011, Davis discusses the library as "one of the best available places to not only get people reading and thinking, but also to get people talking together." Davis discusses CCR's work developing discussion and dialogue programs at libraries across the United States and hones in on CCR's work with librarians in Riverside County, California. He also talks about libraries as "engines of democracy" -- places where community members can come to engage with each other and the issues that matter to them -- and provides tips for getting reflective dialogue programs started at libraries and other locations.