Schedule and Descriptions

Community Engagement @ Your Library: Creating Vibrant, Diverse and Inclusive Communities
Wed., May 15, 2019
OCLC Conference Center
6600 Kilgour Place, Dublin, Ohio 43017
[map and directions]



8:00 – 8:45 a.m. | Registration and Refreshments

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introductions

9:00-9:30 a.m. | General Session – Keynote Presentation

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian: Embedding Library Services in Your Community

Keynote: Nick Tepe, Director, Athens County Public Libraries

Nick Tepe

Nick Tepe, Director, Athens County Public Libraries

Libraries are increasingly providing “non-traditional” services and forming unusual partnerships. While some bemoan this new role, others have found this to be a powerful way to demonstrate the library’s value to the community. These libraries don’t just wait for the opportunities to come to them. They leave the building and embed the public library into the community. Embedded librarianship is about building strong relationships and requires a deep understanding of the information needs of our customers. This session will explore how to apply the principles of embedded librarianship in your community (regardless of its size) and the benefits of growing community connections.

9:30-10:00 a.m. | LIBchats (Library Interesting Briefs)

  1. Passing Your Levy With New, Emerging Campaign Technologies
  2. Creative Connections: Engaging Artists 
  3. Building Tools for Community-Driven Photo Collections

10:00-10:15 a.m. | Break

10:15 -11:15 a.m. | Breakout Sessions

Track Session Core Competency
Diversity Creating Safe(r) Spaces for LGBTQ+ Youth CMA
Starting Community Engagement Making the Most of Your Community Impact MAR
Youth Services Beyond the Library Walls: School Collaboration in Times of Change PRG
Story Building Listen, Speak, and Share: Engage Your Community with Storytelling LBA
Programming Have Programs, Will Travel: Taking your Adult Programming Show on the Road PRG
Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial

11:15-11:30 a.m. | Break

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

Track Session Core Competency
Diversity Engaging All Voices: Diversity in Collection Development Building Meaningful Relationships CLM
Starting Community Engagement Building Meaningful Relationships PRS
Youth Services STEM Learning for Local Students CLB
Story Building Starting a Veterans Project in Your Community CMD
Programming Let’s Go Outside: Partnering with Local Parks, Community Gardens and More! CLB
Young Mom’s Club: A Gateway to Partnerships, Collaborations, and Parent Resources PAW

12:30-1:30 p.m. | Lunch

1:45-2:45 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

Track Session Core Competency
Diversity Practice Civil Discourse FAC
Starting Community Engagement Engaging the Community Through Partnerships: Lessons Learned on a Six-Year Journey CLB
Youth Services Get Schooled: Partnering Your Library with Local Schools CLB
Story Building Revisiting Listen Columbus: Two Years of Streaming Local Music CLB
Programming Partnerships on a Shoestring PRG
Workforce Engagement Teen Workforce Development: Leveraging Partners for Success CMA

2:45-3:00 p.m. | Break

3:00-4:00 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

Track Session Core Competency
(General Session Room)
Community Engagement Panel Session CMA
Diversity Effective Library Programming for Difficult Topics PRG
Starting Community Engagement At the Table: Embedded Community Engagement at Your Library CLB
Youth Services Team Vittles: Boldly Approaching Anyone and Everyone Who Will Listen CLB

4:00 p.m. | Adjourn


LIBCHATS (9:30-10:00 a.m.)
LIBchat: Passing Your Levy With New, Emerging Campaign Technologies

Presenter: George Needham, Delaware County District Library (DCDL)

In passing DCDL’s November levy renewal, our campaign team used a handful of new, exciting technologies to share the value of our levy with our community and voting public. In our strategic campaign plan, we employed advanced voter mapping software, participation history trend data, mobile phone volunteer walking lists and hyper-targeted Facebook advertising, allowing us to maximize our limited budget and volunteers’ time while ensuring that our messages were being heard by the right audience. These strategies are scalable to budgets of all sizes and can help make the sometimes scary and intimidating task of passing a levy clearer and more attainable. You will learn about four new (and surprisingly affordable) technologies that can help make your campaign committee more organized, more effective and more efficient as you pursue your fundraising and communication goals.

LIBchat: Creative Connections: Engaging Artists 
Presenter: Margaret Simon, Shaker Heights Public Library

Many libraries engage artists by displaying their artwork, but have you considered engaging them in a project to promote the library? In 2016, Shaker Library promoted its summer reading program, SHAKER READS, by creating eleven, three-foot tall letters that spelled out SHAKER READS and invited adults and children to paint them. The colorful letters were coated with protective polyurethane, mounted on poles, and installed in the front yard of Woods Branch. These whimsical and colorful letters proclaimed SHAKER READS and promoted reading all summer long. In 2018, the library created another set of letters for the Main Library and sent out an e-mail blast requesting artists’ help. Within four hours, all the letters were claimed, resulting in eleven talented artists’ renderings of SHAKER READS, which will be installed this spring in front of the Main Library to promote summer reading. Learn how this project not only promotes reading, but also, creativity, collaboration, and community.

LIBchat: Building Tools for Community-Driven Photo Collections
Presenter: John Dewees, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Local history collections are only as good as how well they represent their community, so make sure the community is easily able to contribute to your collection. This LIBchat will discuss an implemented tool and workflow for collecting both digital and analog photographs for accession into local history collections. You will learn about submission agreements, workflows for ingest, tools to facilitate the transfer, metadata considerations, and marketing strategies to actually get your community excited and involved to contribute to the preservation of their local history.

10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Creating Safe(r) Spaces for LGBTQ+ Youth

Presenter: Amanda Erickson, Kaleidiscope Youth Center

Libraries continue to be popular places for young people to spend time after school and between activities, and it’s important for library staff to be aware of many different aspects of youth identity to create affirming spaces for all. The rapidly changing landscape of gender identity and sexuality is one area that can seem hard to grasp. What do we mean when we ask for pronouns? How is gender identity different from sexual orientation? What does “pansexual” mean? In this session, you will gain a better understanding of language and terminology related to gender identity and sexuality as well as the added risk that comes with being an LGBTQ+ identified young person. This session will also discuss how to make our libraries more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ+ youth.

Core Competency: Patron Awareness


10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Making the Most of Your Community Impact

Presenter: Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library

Whether it’s events and festivals, promotional posters or social media, library staff do a lot to step outside their walls and reach the community. Have you ever had a library photo booth at a community festival? What about hosted a Readers’ Advisory Q&A on your library’s Facebook page? There are plenty of ways to reach your public, and they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Discover why it’s important to have a focused message for your community interactions and what that looks like on a practical level.

Core Competency: Marketing


10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Beyond the Library Walls: School Collaboration in Times of Change

Presenters: Patrick Culliton, Geauga County Public Library; Christina Mihalic and Carol Gardner, Burton Public Library

During the past few years school districts in Geauga County have undergone significant changes, up to and including consolidation. Both the Burton Public Library (BPL) and the Geauga County Public Library (GCPL) increased services to the schools to better support changing needs. When the Burton Elementary School lost their school librarian, the Burton Public Library created a partnership with the school to help. Through this collaboration, BPL began offering literacy aid at the school, such as storytimes and research lessons, and planned library field trip programs for classrooms to utilize on-site resources. To continue their collaborative literacy goals, the outreach librarian, school, and library are currently working together to supply library cards to every Burton Elementary student. Burton Library’s neighboring Library System, Geauga County Public Library, also saw the need for further outreach, especially in the realm of celebrating and publishing student creative work. Learn how GCPL published and promoted student work in a number of mediums, using the Biblioboard platform, while moving toward more concrete projects like resurrecting one school’s literary magazine and launching a project in which high school students work with retired nuns to tell and publish their life stories.

Core Competency: Programming


10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Listen, Speak, and Share: Engage Your Community with Storytelling

Presenter: Julie Bursten, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Are you looking for a way to engage your community through the art of sharing stories? Then look no further than Storybox, a unique and decidedly low-tech program aimed at encouraging local organizations and individuals, your library’s patrons and larger community, to meet one another through simple, straightforward discussion sessions. Through events that are moderated by staff and based on talking prompts that emphasize one’s roots (family, memories, traditions, and community), discover how a library can take a leading position in shaping community dialogue by providing opportunities for the public to explore and identify what similarities and commonalities unite, instead of divide, them. Learn about this pilot program hosted by the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and how, through Storybox, a library can share its story while welcoming, supporting, and curating the stories of others.

Core Competency: Library Advocacy


10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Have Programs, Will Travel: Taking your Adult Programming Show on the Road

Presenter: Sarah Glover Crawford, Lima Public Library

Have (something), will travel. A phrase used when one has the ability or skill to do something and could do it anywhere. Take your programming abilities and skills and show them off (almost) anywhere! Today more than ever it is critical that libraries start thinking and moving outside their walls and establish a strong presence outside in the community. Let’s get together to discuss the opportunities, and the necessity, librarians have to integrate themselves into their communities by providing interesting, supportive, and fun programming for adults in various locations around your town. This session will cover several locations and community relationships that are great starting points as well as programs that have really taken off!

Core Competency: Programming


10:15 -11:15 a.m.
Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs

Presenters: Linda Fayerweather and David Topoleski, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

This session will describe the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s (TLCPL) involvement and work with the Urban Library Council’s Entrepreneurship Learning Cohort and how the TLCPL staff developed a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing aspiring women and immigrant entrepreneurs and designed an enhanced set of support services to address these challenges. TLCPL’s Economic Success Team will discuss ways to expand your outreach, strengthen your services, and promote your library as a vital entrepreneurial hub.

Core Competency: Collaboration

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Engaging All Voices: Diversity in Collection Development

Presenters: Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries and Kelly Edwards, Upper Arlington Public Library

Diversity is more than a hot topic, it’s a core aspect of library access, community engagement, and intellectual freedom. Diverse collections create dialogues that engage and transform communities. Where do you start? This session talk about the importance of inclusive collections, listen to diverse voices in collection management, highlight key conversations in diversity awareness and provide some tools to support your ongoing efforts.

Core Competency: Collection Management


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Building Meaningful Relationships

Presenters: Maggie Killman and Gabriel Venditti, Shaker Heights Public Library

Community Engagement is the art of building relationships that provide value and meaning for both parties. Whether those relationships are with organizations or residents, taking the time to cultivate connections and becoming more community-responsive will yield immense benefits for you and your community. In this interactive session, the presenters take a high-level view on Community Engagement and will share insights from their work developing successful partnerships outside the library. This session will discuss asset mapping and social capital and take a look at how these concepts borrowed from the social sciences can impact our work and improve lives in our neighborhoods. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own successes and brainstorm ways to do the same for their own communities.

Core Competency: Collaboration


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
STEM Learning for Local Students

Presenter: Kalyn Kappelman, Reed Memorial Library

Interested in working more closely with your local school system? Want to expand STEM learning opportunities for your local students? Learn how Reed Memorial Library, a small library in a rural, low-income area, has been able to collaborate with the Ravenna school system to bring more STEM learning to their community’s students. From a simple introductory e-mail a little over two years ago to now collaborating on an LSTA Competitive Grant, the library and school have both benefited and are looking forward to where their partnership can go next.

Core Competency: Collaboration


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Starting a Veterans Project in Your Community

Presenter: Doug Stout, Licking County Library

If you are looking for a project that reaches a wide audience and attracts a lot of attention in your community, you may want to consider gathering and preserving the experiences of local veterans. Doug Stout, Veterans Project Coordinator, Licking County Library, will explain how he made it his mission to archive the personal stories, service records, letters, and pictures of Licking County’s veterans. Since 2014, 4,000+ veterans and more than 30,000 digital records have been added to the library’s online database which serves as a time capsule and a memorial of Licking County’s contributions to America’s wars.  The response from the community has been tremendous, reaching people who had never been to the library before and garnering the attention of local civic groups and news media.  During this session, you will learn how to start a project like this in your community, no matter the size or budget of your library.

Core Competency: Cataloging and Metadata


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Let’s Go Outside: Partnering with Local Parks, Community Gardens and More!

Panelists: Dorri Hegyl, Dayton Metro Library; Joshua York, Five Rivers Metro Parks; Robin Gibson, Westerville Public Library; Stacey Rusterholz, Center for Community Engagement, Otterbein University; Sybil Wendling, Avon Lake Public Library; Jennifer Fenderbosch, Avon Lake Garden Club

Many studies point to the importance of nature in children’s development. How can you encourage children’s natural sense of wonder and give them time outside when you work in a library? Discover how the Avon Lake Public Library transformed a small green space into a Children’s Garden with an IMLS grant and cultivated a partnership with the local Garden Club for programming. If your library doesn’t have green space, local parks and community gardens can make terrific partners for outdoor programming – no matter the size of your library or community. You’ll learn about the Dayton Metro Library’s work with the Five Rivers Metroparks and the Westerville Public Library’s partnership with the Otterbein Community Garden.

Core Competency: Programming


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Young Mom’s Club: A Gateway to Partnerships, Collaborations, and Parent Resources

Presenter: Julia Shaheen and Marianna DiGiacomo, Stark County District Library

The Young Mom’s Club is more than just a storytime program for teen parents and their children. It’s a connector of resources. Parents have the opportunity to meet other young parents and share experiences. Learn how the Stark County District Library grew the community baby shower from a program where the focus was receiving baby necessities to a program focused on connecting parents and parents-to-be to community resources by partnering with social service agencies, school districts, community members, healthcare agencies, church outreach groups and more. The goal of this program is to provide parents with the tools needed to help their children start school ready to succeed.

Core Competency: Programming

1:45-2:45 p.m.
Practice Civil Discourse

Presenter: La Trice Washington, Otterbein University

Discover the importance of civility and respect in a global environment with Dr. La Trice Washington, Department Chair of History and Political Science at Otterbein University. Learn about how civility impacts the successful creation of community partnerships and how civil discourse – or the lack of it – affects current global issues. This session will then  put civil discourse principles into practice with group activities.

Core Competency: Community Awareness


1:45-2:45 p.m.
Engaging the Community Through Partnerships: Lessons Learned on a Six-Year Journey

Presenters: Jim Funk and Jennifer Day, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

In recent years, libraries have recognized that they can enhance their impact on the community by creating in-depth partnerships with schools and community organizations. The questions have been, how can partnerships be most efficiently organized and what form should they take? To tackle this opportunity, in late 2012 the Toledo Lucas County Public Library created the new position of Manager of Institutional & Community Initiatives. The position was charged with developing partnerships and collaborations with the community’s school systems and leading cultural, civic and youth-serving agencies. This session will discuss the challenges faced and lessons learned over six years in creating, implementing and maintaining partnerships with six area school systems, five major cultural organizations and 15 community and civic agencies. You will learn more about the benefits of partnerships, how to overcome internal barriers and resistance, and how to measure outcomes.

Core Competency: Adaptibility


1:45-2:45 p.m.
Get Schooled: Partnering Your Library with Local Schools

Presenter: Suzie Muniak, Medina County District Library

How many of us have tried to “get in” with our local school district only to hit a wall? Teachers and administrators are busy, libraries are busy, and trying to break into the district to show our value and promote services can be challenging. So where do you start? With time, patience and lots of creativity, the Medina County District Library created awesome partnerships with the local school district. Learn about how the library doubled their summer reading participation for grades 1-5 in one summer by partnering with the schools. You’ll also learn more about the library’s database training and book talks which they do regularly with ninth grade English classes, plus how they partner with the high school to address teen behavior issues in the branch. See examples, get tips, learn from the library’s mistakes and take home tangible ideas that you can easily try at your library.

Core Competency: Collaboration


1:45-2:45 p.m.
Revisiting Listen Columbus: Two Years of Streaming Local Music
Presenters: Katy Hite, formerly with the Upper Arlington Public Library, now Adult Services Supervisor, Delaware County Public Library

Listen Columbus is a local streaming music service offered by the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL). Through this service and the library’s “Live at the Library” concert series, UAPL has been working to engage the local music community, introduce library patrons to their works, and promote the library’s unique music collection. This session will take a closer look at the Listen Columbus project, provide updates on the service, and offer tips for strengthening (or starting) music programs at your library.

Core Competency: Collaboration


1:45-2:45 p.m.
Partnerships on a Shoestring

Presenters: Ruth Monnier, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas (formerly with Greene County Public Library); Taryn Lentes, Athens County Public Libraries; Gina Kromhout and Shea Alltmont, Avon Lake Public Library

Looking to save money? Wanting to connect with others in your community? Considering new ways to promote your community resources? Join this panel discussion with librarians around the state to learn about their experiences with community partnerships and limited budgets.

Core Competency: Programming


1:45-2:45 p.m.
Teen Workforce Development: Leveraging Partners for Success

Presenter: Steve Moser, Dayton Metro Library

Workforce Development is a buzz word in almost every community. Libraries are major partners through resume support, job seeker programs, and computer classes. But if you’re not connecting teens to the conversation — you’re missing out! Dayton Metro Library (DML) has experienced great successes in connecting teens to career exploration in support of broader workforce development strategies. By engaging teen staff members, leveraging community partners, and carefully selecting needed resources, teens are recognized as a valued part of the talent pipeline. Through a variety of projects and initiatives, DML has positioned itself as an indispensable resource in the larger regional workforce development ecosystem, providing career awareness and college exploration opportunities to teens. This session will walk you through the development and implementation of DML initiatives, including Middle Ground, Career Adventures Camp, and LAUNCH Point.

Core Competency: Community Awareness


3:00-4:00 p.m.
Effective Library Programming for Difficult Topics

Presenter: Leann Schneider Webb, Bexley Public Library

In early 2017, Bexley Public Library (BPL) responded to the volatile political and social climate by hosting the program “Implicit Bias with the Kirwan Institute,” hoping to provide a safe space for the community to learn about and engage with essential – but difficult – topics. The event was well-received, the community interest in programming was evident. BPL then set out to build community partnerships with the city, the school district, and local funders. The goal was to develop programming at the library that provided the community a place to engage in and learn from discussions about difficult topics like race and racism, white privilege, and LGBTQ+ issues, among others. Adult Services Librarian and program developer at BPL, Leann Schneider Webb, will explain the process of building the connections that made programs, such as “Safe Conversations About Race,” “Teaching Hard History: American Slavery,” and  “LGBTQ+ 101,” possible. You’ll gain a better understanding of how BPL reached the community as well as some lessons learned along the way.

Core Competency: Programming


3:00-4:00 p.m.
At the Table: Embedded Community Engagement at Your Library

Presenter: Barb White, Akron-Summit County Public Library

The public library matters. Service is our passion; community is our context. Embedded Community Engagement takes your library off of the sidelines and into the heart of your community, assuming a sustained leadership role among community stakeholders. Together you’ll identify emerging issues, bring diverse groups together, participate in community dialogue, and facilitate action. Embedded Community Engagement is conducted in addition to traditional outreach. Traditional outreach–school visits, nursing home/senior residence presentations, etc.–is still an invaluable way to be in our communities. Embedded Community Engagement is a close cousin, perhaps even a beloved sibling, to traditional outreach. This session will take a closer look at how to: identify areas of strong community/library interest; research potential Embedded Community Engagement partners and initiate exploratory encounters; practice active listening and organizational storytelling; and deepen and evaluate relationships over time.

Core Competency: Community Awareness


3:00-4:00 p.m.
Team Vittles: Boldly Approaching Anyone and Everyone Who Will Listen

Presenters: Kate McCartney, Marysville Public Library and Shane Hoffman, Plain City Public Library

Join Team Vittles as we discuss the ways that we have engaged the community and created partnerships for ourselves, for our libraries and between outside entities; all with the end goal of getting food and resources to the community. We will discuss how we approach internal partners for traditional, summer food programs as well as how we have created partnerships in our local communities with embedded librarianship. Building on those local partnerships, we will also discuss our growing partnership with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Core Competency: Collaboration

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Community Engagement Panel Session
Moderator: Drew Wichterman, Tipp City Public Library

A panel representative of libraries of all sizes will talk about their approach to community engagement. Topics include:

  • What made their community engagement initiative innovative?
  • What benefits to the library were realized?
  • What was the impact on the community?
  • What outcomes were anticipated and how were they measured?

Kacie Armstrong, Euclid Public Library
Carrie Burrier, Akron-Summit County Public Library
Deborah Dubois, Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
Maggie Killman, Shaker Heights Public Library
George Needham, Delaware County District Library
David Siders, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Core Competency: Community Awareness


About Nick Tepe, Conference Keynote
Nick Tepe began working in libraries in 2000 at Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) in the Outreach Services division. He worked in several different positions at CML, including as the first Homework Help Center Coordinator at the Linden branch library in 2004, and as Circulation Division manager from 2007-2011. He completed his Master of Library Science from Kent State University in  2005, and participated in the 2006 class of Library Leadership Ohio. He served on the Ohio Library Council’s (OLC) Intellectual Freedom Committee from 2010-2013 and has been a member of the OLC Board of Directors since 2013 and was the Chair of the Board in 2018. He was the Director of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library from 2012-2016, and is currently Director of the Athens County Public Libraries.