Harwood Public Innovation for California's Public Libraries

The California State Library has partnered with The Harwood Institute to support California library staff in deepening their impact and increasing their relevance in the communities they serve.

The Harwood Institute has trained and coached hundreds of library professionals across the U.S. in developing an approach, or practice, called Turning Outward. Library professionals who Turn Outward build a deep knowledge of their communities and use the community as the reference point for their choices and judgments.

By implementing the Turning Outward practice, library staff across the state of California are making different choices about:

  • the kinds of questions to ask in meetings;
  • the library's role in helping bring the community together to solve problems;
  • the kinds of programs the library pursues and how those programs are structured; and
  • the kind of staff and culture that is needed in the library.

Libraries that Turn Outward are better connected to their communities and the context of those communities shapes their thinking and their action.

Resources

  • Please visit the resources page for extensive resources to help California library staff implement the Harwood practice, get focused on their communities, and start making changes today.
  • The California State Library maintains a project listserv and Facebook group where library staff can connect and share information.
  • The Harwood Institute provides full information about the practice on its website.
  • All Harwood Lab alumni receive access to more than 2,000 public innovators worldwide through the Harwood Public Innovators listserv, weekly e-mails that include tools, real world case studies, and tips on using what you've learned, a Public Innovators Toolkit ready for use with staff and partners (including a Community Conversations workbook), and access to an online video library. Participating libraries receive a royalty-free license from The Harwood Institute to use all these tools, content, and materials with their staffs and local partners, for non-commercial purposes.

Please contact Bev Schwartzberg at beverly.schwartzberg@library.ca.gov for more information about any of these resources.

Information for Applicants for the California Harwood Public Innovators Workshop for Public Libraries, Fall 2019

We welcome online applications from public libraries across California at a hybrid training workshop that will take place in fall of 2019. Applications will be due September 4, 2019, and successful applicants will be notified by September 9, 2019. We also have a print version of the application for applicants to view and download.

Participants will be expected to complete weekly assignments beginning in late September 2019, take part in one single-day, in-person workshop, and complete follow-up assignments. The single-day workshops will take place on Wednesday, November 6, in Anaheim, and Friday, November 8, in Sacramento. Only one person per library jurisdiction should complete the application for all staff members the library wishes to send.

Participants should see below for information about travel reimbursement and what happens after the training. If you have any questions, please email beverly.schwartzberg@library.ca.gov.

What Happens After the Workshop

Staff at the Harwood Institute and California State Library, and colleagues in other libraries, contribute to a network of support and community of practice for California library staff implementing the Harwood practice.

  • Libraries who take part in the Lab will be expected to create an action plan for using the Harwood practice and Turning Outward in their communities.
  • Staff in libraries will have access to three post-Lab coaching webinars.
  • Eight libraries will be selected (by application) to receive a 90-minute coaching call with a Harwood coach, tailored to their library and community, to support progress and action.
  • Resources are available on the California Harwood wiki, and we encourage library staff to draw on and contribute to the wiki.
  • All staff from libraries that are implementing the Harwood practice are invited to join the California Harwood listserv and Facebook group, and attend and host regional meetings where they can share progress, challenges, successes, and lessons learned.
  • We encourage library staff who are implementing the Harwood practice to reach out to colleagues to provide support to one another, and present programs at the California Library Association conference to share information about their work.
  • All alumni from the Lab will receive: access to more than 2,000 public innovators worldwide through the Harwood Public Innovators listserv, weekly e-mails that include tools, real world case studies, and tips on using what you've learned, a Public Innovators Toolkit ready for use with staff and partners (including a Community Conversations workbook), and access to an online video library. Participating libraries will receive a royalty-free license to use all these tools, content, and materials with their staffs and local partners, for non-commercial purposes.
  • California State Library staff are available to provide support as needed.

The Harwood Public Innovation for California's Public Libraries project is supported by the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.