2018 / Return to the Real: Building Social Capital in an Analog Revival


2018 / Return to the Real: Building Social Capital in an Analog Revival

Picture: Build a City by CSM (CA) Libraries on Flickr CC BY 2.0

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Latest Activity: Sep 13, 2018


There is increasing evidence of a disaffection with the digital realm and a renewed interest in physical, tangible objects and face-to-face experiences. Studies reveal loneliness and depression resulting from too much interaction with digital devices. Over the last few decades, there has been a steady loss of social capital in communities – bonds formed when community members share meaningful, real-time experiences together.

Libraries can address this loss as hubs of activities that engage our five senses and bring people together physically for the kind human interaction that virtual connections and digital interfaces miss. Libraries already offer active learning programs with hands-on, participatory activities. But often the emphasis is more on the technologies and individual learning goals and less on the social connection that fosters collective well-being. This session will focus on the social possibilities, exploring ways to intentionally create social capital and amplify people's ties to each other and their community.

Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC, USA 

Thursday, 13 September, 11:00 am

Library (AGB), Salon

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Comment by Betha Gutsche on September 13, 2018 at 18:28

Thank you to all those who brought your innovative thinking and fresh ideas to this session!

I am attaching a PDF of the slides. The last slide has links to the sources I referenced in the presentation.


Have fun socializing your active learning programs!

Comment by Betha Gutsche on September 7, 2018 at 1:05

Hi Eddel,

That's great that you're interested in the opportunities that libraries present for community encounter and engagement! That's what this presentation is about. It doesn't matter if you are not a librarian.

Please contact me by email and we can talk about ways that you could contribute. This will be as much "workshop" as presentation so I'm looking for some lively participation from attendees.

my email: gutscheb@oclc.org

Comment by Eddel Beck on September 6, 2018 at 11:02

Hi Betha,

if you are still looking for a german native speaker to assist you I'd be more than happy to jump in. I hope it's not a problem that I'm not a librarian?! I joined Next Library because I'm interested in Libraries as spots of public encounter/discurse/engagement. ....and I live in the neighborhood of the ZLB. ;-)

Greets from Berlin!


Comment by Betha Gutsche on May 3, 2018 at 19:28

I'm excited to explore this topic with all the future-thinkers at Next Library! I'm taking the ambitious step of using this session to plan an event for a public audience at the conference. We'll work together to plan an analog event to test and observe our ideas for generating social capital.

I'm looking for a co-presenter, preferably someone who is fluent in German. Please let me know if you're interested.



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