Harwood Resources

This is a collaborative wiki for library staff who are part of the Harwood Public Innovation for California's Public Libraries project.

Here you will find a variety of resources to inspire and inform you as you implement the Harwood practice. All California library staff are encouraged to contribute information, documentation, success stories, and other useful resources. If you have anything to contribute, or if you can't find the resource you're looking for, please contact Bev Schwartzberg.

Contact Bev Schwartzberg at beverly.schwartzberg@library.ca.gov.


California-specific Resources

We encourage you to look at success stories and webinars that tell the story of California libraries. Then, find resources ofr introducing the Harwood practice to staff and community.


This webinar introduces how California libraries are implementing the Harwood practice.

For other webinars telling the story of Harwood in public libraries, including participants from California, see https://theharwoodinstitute.org/libraries. Placentia Public Library is featured on Creating More Effective Library Programs https://youtu.be/M2MJXTYF5pM. Altadena Public Library is featured on Libraries and Authentic Community Engagement https://youtu.be/kdozLO3KO3Q. Sacramento Public Library and Placentia Public Library are featured on New Engagement Strategies for Diverse Communities https://youtu.be/HmAdIVqDiWo.

Public Knowledge Summaries

California libraries: please send us your public knowledge summaries so that we can make them available for others to see and learn from. The following are some of the public knowledge summaries that have been shared with the group.

Visit the Harwood Tools page for resources to help you create public knowledge summary reports.

Success Stories

Here are just a few early success stories from California libraries. More recent stories are coming soon. If you have stories to share, please let us know!

How California Libraries Present the Harwood Practice to Library Staff and the Community

California Institutions Trained in the Harwood Practice

Cohort Contact List

Please contact Bev Schwartzberg for a contact list of library staff who are implementing the Harwood practice

Program Overview

Four Stages of Harwood

These stages are based on Public Innovators Toolkit and ALA's "Turning Outward Resources for Libraries". Please visit the Four Stages of Harwood page for resources relating to each of the stages.

Stage 1: Get Started

  • Begin to talk to your library team about their hopes and goals
  • Put in place the thought processes that will lead to long-term change
  • This stage introduces the concepts of turning outward, aspirations, and intentionality.

Stage 2: Know Your Community

  • Begin facilitating conversations with your community
  • Discover what kind of community people want
  • What challenges does the community face?
  • And what changes are needed to overcome those challenges?

Stage 3: Strategies

  • Share knowledge with your team and stakeholders
  • Evaluate your team's progress
  • Regularly bring members of your team together to focus on what you're learning and reconsider library practices as you go forward.

Stage 4: Strengthen Your Culture

  • Turn insights into action
  • Base planning on community situation and stages
  • Gain a nuanced understanding of your community's "rhythms" and "sweet spots"
  • Assess how you are integrating the turning outward approach into your ongoing work.

Public Innovators Lab

The Public Innovators Lab is a 2.5-day training that kicks off the Harwood process. It introduces the concept of Turning Outward and focuses librarians on making more intentional choices in their work. The goal is to get librarians "off the path of the status quo, learn to Turn Outward and use the community as the reference point for your actions, and get on an alternate path of possibility and hope."

Public Innovator Lab Guide

Also referred to as the "The Lab Guide", "The Workbook, and "The Binder", this is the official Harwood workbook. It contains the essential tools and information that you will need to implement Harwood methods.

PDF: Public Innovators Toolkit

The Lab is organized into five stages

  1. Understanding My Community
  2. Being Turned Outward
  3. Creating Conditions for Change and Sustainability
  4. Deciding on the Right Path
  5. Making an Agreement with Myself

Welcome Video

Rich Harwood: "The lab is designed to help you develop more and perhaps new ways to solve problems in your communities and to change how your communities work. But to make this happen we're going to have to adopt the right orientation: to be turned outward toward our communities where we have a deep understanding of what's happening there. When we do that, we'll have the authority to create the kind of change that we all seek. We'll have the authenticity to keep things real. And we'll have the accountability to live up to the pledges and promises we make to our community."

Harwood Tools

These links will take you to the Harwood Tools page which includes a wide variety of resources to help you implement the Harwood practice.

In-depth Coaching Cohort Resources

18-Month Practice Arc

Staff in ten California public libraries have received in-depth coaching in the Harwood practice and have been guided through implementing an 18-month practice arc. These stages are based on the Harwood Practice Arc 18-Month Initiative timeline. The dates on this timeline are suggestive and do not necessarily reflect the different realities of implementing Harwood methods in each community.

Note from Carlton: "This work is not about being in a race. It's about being on a path. As the footnote says, 'you may develop at a faster or slower pace depending on capacity, resources, time to commit, community readiness, and your own readiness.' I might add that any number of other circumstances may also arise that cause your pace to shift."

Public Innovators Lab (Up to Month 1)

  • Focus on community shared aspirations

Community Conversations (Months 2–4)

  • Authentically engage community and discern key insights

Building Public Will (Months 5–7)

  • Strategically share knowledge from engaging community to build community ownership and public will
  • Apply knowledge from engaging community to decision-making

Strategies and Partnerships (Months 8–12)

  • Identify and act on specific strategies of change that align to local context
  • Focus on creating conditions necessary for communitychange
  • Determine “who to run with” as partners

Working the Plan (Months 13–18)

  • Develop networks for innovation and learning
  • Adopt the right metrics to gauge progress

Post-lab Coaching Calls & Webinars

If you have participated in post-Lab coaching calls and webinar, please contact Bev Schwartzberg to get access to the archive of coaching you received.

External Resources

ALA's Libraries Transforming Communities

Other States

Program Funding

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.