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Communications Network: Community Engagement – Part 3

Friday, December 16, 2022, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Online, Library staff only, Presentation,

THIS EVENT IS AT 1:00 PM on Friday 12/16. Kerry wrote the wrong time (noon) in her hlcomms message.

Register for this event via Zoom

“Community engagement” can be a nebulous term. In libraries and beyond, it’s been used to describe everything from promoting services to collecting feedback to building long-term institutional partnerships – activities often segmented out across different positions. The American Library Association identifies community engagement as “the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library customers, residents, faculty, students or partner organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.” But who gets to define what betters the community? How to ensure equitable engagement across communities? And what kind of infrastructure is needed within libraries to support engagement activities?

This fall, Harvard Library Communications is teaming up with Alessandra Seiter, Community Engagement Librarian at the HKS Library, to explore what community engagement means among Harvard Library staff. This three-part series will highlight initiatives around Harvard libraries that illuminate some core questions of community engagement. Each installment will feature a staff presentation, followed by a facilitated discussion.

The final installment of this series will focus on the question: “How do we listen to and learn from community members to build responsive resources, services, and programs?” Our presenters will be:

  • Clare Stanton, Communications & Outreach at the Library Innovation Lab
  • Jamillah Gabriel, Critical Pedagogy Research Librarian at Gutman Library

Clare will discuss LIL’s collaborative projects including Alterspace, a project that gives library visitors control over light, color, sound, and space. Jamillah will discuss her PhD work on the efficacy of cultural heritage institutions in meeting the information needs of Black community members.

Learn more about our first two installments of this series:

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Event Organizer

Alessandra Seiter