The future of libraries will increasingly depend on the ability of librarians to actively engage with their community and provide services that connect them to information resources that will exist, not just in books, but in a variety of places and formats – such as open government data, online courses, or community-generated content. Libraries will need to function as places where people can connect to those resources and engage in ways that meet their individual goals.
Participatory methodologies, including design thinking, are formal practices to engage a broad constituency to uncover local needs and assets, then design, test, build, and evaluate programs. This methodology will be a key part of building the dynamic and engaging library of the future.
This session will serve as an introduction to using participatory methodologies in public libraries, and will provide hands-on experience in using methodologies that are currently being used in Brazilian public and community libraries. This session will be run as an interactive workshop drawing on the experiences of the five panelists; key participatory methodologies and techniques will be modeled in the session, leaving participants with resources to support their continued exploration and use of these methodologies in their libraries. The work will be very focused on techniques and practices they can bring to their own libraries, as well as specific opportunities for them to use participatory methodologies to engage their broader communities and influence program design. The panelists from IPR and Caravan will provide key overviews and techniques of participatory methodologies, as they’ve been put into practice in Brazilian libraries. The state coordinator will provide practical feedback on how these practices have worked in specific libraries and how they have influenced library programming.
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