Webinar Review: Hosting Public Forums @ your library

I just finished watching the final webinar in a four-part series hosted by Programming Librarian and ALA. The series is archived and available to view for free at: http://connect.ala.org/node/167956

An Introduction to Convening Forums @ your library
Moderating Forums @ your library–Nuts and Bolts
Practicing Moderating @ your library
Convening Forums @ your library–Nuts and Bolts

A very diverse group came together to create this series. It was a nice mix of seasoned librarians who have been hosting deliberative forums for years and representatives from the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums (NIF). The presenters cared passionately about the topic of the library being the perfect place for community conversations to take place, and they shared their experiences in very professional and motivating ways. There were multiple speakers for each of the webinars listed above, so the hourlong topcs moved quickly. Sometimes with webinars you will watch it and then wonder–now what? This series really did tackle the why, how, who, and what in a way that encourages participants to jump off the cliff and just start DOING.

I was tasked with starting this kind of programming at the library where I work, and I have to admit the idea was a bit scary at first. I have been reading and watching these webinars along with a few others–and am finally comfortable with the concept enough to where I believe I can tailor the events to meet the needs of my community. Or, at least.. I’m going to try!

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