Libraries Engage Communities


Engaging Citizens through Libraries

Libraries around the country are undertaking a vast array of engaging programs
that bring citizens together to share interests, concerns, and decision-making. Civic
initiatives are underway through the American Library Association, in school, academic,
public and special libraries and in Library and Information Science education. Libraries
offer safe, neutral spaces where citizens can turn to solve personal and community
problems. They also promote civic literacy to students through their school and academic instruction programs, as well as to the citizens through public libraries. In addition, many libraries serve as public forums and conversation catalysts, hosting public programs that facilitate the type of discourse that offers citizens a chance to frame issues of common concern, deliberate about choices for solving problems, create deeper understanding about other’s opinions, connect citizens across the spectrum of thought, and recommend appropriate action that reflects legitimate guidance from the whole community.

To learn more about the type of civic activities undertaken by libraries, click on the links below. You can also submit information about your own library’s civic programs by clicking on and filling out the Center for Civic Life survey here. For more in depth information about the role of libraries in civic life, see: Libraries and Civic Engagement by Nancy Kranich.

Fill out our Libraries and Civic Engagement survey:

View our Libraries and Civic Engagement geo map:

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