The 5 Essentials For Creating Community-Centered Libraries

An Intensive 4-Week Course for Building Strong Libraries and Better, Engaged Communities

April 19–May 10, 2017

Live Sessions on Wednesdays at 11:00 AM ET: April 19, 26, May 3 & 10

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Join peers from the U.S. and beyond to hear from leading library directors doing innovative work to learn why and how librarians are taking advantage of powerful community engagement tools and—more important—applying what they learn to create highly collaborative, people-centered libraries and communities. This deep dive online course is designed to impact all staff and stakeholders from front line staff to the director’s chair. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide to turn your community engagement ideas into a powerful roadmap for setting direction, measuring outcomes, and leading your community.

Speakers and additional program information will be announced soon. But don’t wait; register before March 10th to take advantage of special early bird pricing.

Participants will learn

This instructor-led online course features weekly guest speakers and personalized interaction to combine real-time learning with ongoing group discussions over four weeks. Participants access course materials, slides, and exercises prior to and throughout the course’s start. This approach allows you to focus on the coursework when you have time each week and apply key concepts to your immediate work as you continue to engage with the materials and guests learning through weekly interaction, collaboration and workshop activities that all take place online.

Throughout your deep dive experience, you will be guided through the five essential components model and provided with tips, tools, and techniques for creating a highly-collaborative community-centered library. You’ll walk away with tools for discovering and contributing to your community through outreach, relationship-building, and meaningful programming.

Online course features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over four weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Weekly assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SESSION 1: Orientation

11:00-1:30 AM ET

Join us for the kick-off of class, as well as a guided tour of the online classroom. We’ll explain how the assignments and facilitated group discussions work, and take any of your questions to help get you set up for our live opening guest speaker session.

SESSION 2: Understanding What We Believe In, Why We Exist, and How We Can Serve Our Communities

11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET

Pam Sandlian Smith and Kent Oliver join host David Bendekovic for a discussion about deeper purpose—and how to find it—at your library and within your community.


Headshot_Circle_DavidBendekovic Headshot_Circle_PamSandlianSmith Headshot_Circle_KentOliver
David Bendekovic, President of the B. A. David Company and Program Developer and Lead Instructor at the Pennsylvania Library Association Academy For Leadership Studies
Pam Sandlian Smith, Director, Anythink Libraries (CO)
Kent Oliver, Director, Nashville Public Library (TN)

WEEK 2: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SESSION 1: Community Engagement & Dialogue: Identifying What Matters Most

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET

A special guest joins the conversation with David Bendekovic about creating community. Participants join the conversation via chat to discuss their experience with community conversation.

WEEK 3: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SESSION 1: Interpreting What We Have Learned 

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET

A discussion of how to make assumptions based on verified impressions and actual data. Featuring a special guest, along with David Bendekovic.

WEEK 4: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SESSION 1: Making Decisions and Taking Action

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET

A discussion of how to formulate decisions, make choices, and set direction, led by David Bendekovic. Plus, how to create opportunity, build community and inspire innovation in a discussion featuring a special guest speaker.