Communications Network: Community Engagement – Part 3
“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:
- Friday, December 2, 12:00 – 1:00 pm | “How do we build collaborative institutional relationships across Harvard libraries and beyond in order to best serve diverse community needs?” with Susan Berstler, Emerging Technology Specialist in Creative Technologies at Cabot Science Library, Christina Linklater, Keeper of the Isham Memorial Library and Houghton Music Cataloger, and Juliana Kuipers, Associate University Archivist for Collection Development and Records Management Services
- Friday, December 9, 12:00 – 1:00 pm | “How do we provide the foundational support necessary for community members to thrive?” with Julie Goldman, Research Data Services Librarian at Countway Library, and Emily Coolidge Toker, Digital Pedagogy Librarian at Lamont Library