2019 / Scaling Social Cohesion: Co-Creating Library-Led Community Resilience


2019 / Scaling Social Cohesion: Co-Creating Library-Led Community Resilience

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Latest Activity: Jun 2, 2019


Building on the theme of  ”Libraries in Times of Social Crisis,” this 1.5 hour session will ask participants to challenge themselves to co-create a plan to help libraries scale their ability to foster deeper community resilience—anticipating crisis, managing through it, and recovering from it. The presenters will build on their experience as co-creators of the New York Library Association’s Sustainability Initiative, which has changed the landscape on library-led sustainable thinking in New York and U.S. libraries in the three years since its gestation. They will use a combination of conversational presentation and small group project work to address the ongoing reality of social disruption and potential for libraries to work together to create pathways for sustainable thinking on a grander scale and possibilities for them, as a collective, to drive changes in behavior and systemic designs that drain our communities and take creativity away from the serious problems wrought by climate change, political upheaval, technological disruption, and more. We’ll use this time to envision a positive, network fueled future, where libraries across the globe embrace sustainability as a core value to catalyze necessary change, keeping community cohesion and inclusion front of mind, and anchored in kindness. As this theme is an overarching one, participants will be asked to reflect on how this work dovetails with the other three themes of the 2019 convening: Civic Media and Data Democracy; Temporary Spaces; and Game Changing Tech & Emerging Trends. 


The goal will be to activate the collective towards envisioning a library network that is collaboratively focused on taking a lead on resilience planning and response for and in concert with communities. The presenters will ensure that by the end of the session participant

  • Are anchored in the basics of how libraries currently contribute to sustainable thinking internally and in their communities;
  • Have a sense of agency in making an impact from their seat or institution outward into the library network and beyond on issues affecting resilience;
  • Depart with insight, key takeaways, and connections to take actions toward these goals when they get home;
  • Are connected to an informal community of library thinkers working on these issues.



Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal, NY, USA

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Executive Director, Mid-Hudson Library System, 103 Market St., Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

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