Stories (Case Studies)

Here you will find stories of Michigan libraries who have Turned Outward and engaged their community in more meaningful ways. By connecting more deeply they are able to respond to community needs, not just library needs. These libraries are changing their role in the community, and transforming how the library is seen and interacted with by community members.


Clarkston Independence District Library

The real turning point was a Conversation with the City Council. The Council had been experiencing some tension with residents, so we asked them to take off their council “hats” and participate in the Conversation as residents…the Council’s Conversation was open to the public, but we asked the residents to remain spectators during the process. It was an enlightening moment as each side was reminded that these elected officials were really just neighbors trying to make the community better for all.

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Putnam District Library

Some of the topics discussed were a desire for more economic development, generational differences in viewing the community, and stressed families. Some believed that many in the community who have the means to help could not easily find one another, and there was a desire to connect volunteer opportunities and public service organizations.

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Available courses

This forum is open to anyone who participated in any of the three cohorts or has undergone Harwood training.  This is an open environment where you are encouraged to share, ask for advice, and collaborate. The intention is for you to learn from one another and make more informed and intentional choices with your engagement activities. As a cohort we are striving to make our communities stronger by creating deeper connections between our libraries and our communities. Our collective mind and shared experience will benefit from everyone’s participation.

This forum is open to only 2017 cohort members who are meeting Cheryl for their coaching calls.  This is where you will find information from the coaching calls, including documents and links. This an open environment where you are encouraged to share, ask for advice, and collaborate. The intention is for you to learn from one another and make more informed and intentional choices with your engagement activities. As a cohort we are striving to make our communities stronger by creating deeper connections between our libraries and our communities. Our collective mind and shared experience will benefit from everyone’s participation.

This forum is open to only 2017 cohort members who are meeting Cheryl for their coaching calls.  This is where you will find information from the coaching calls, including documents and links. This an open environment where you are encouraged to share, ask for advice, and collaborate. The intention is for you to learn from one another and make more informed and intentional choices with your engagement activities. As a cohort we are striving to make our communities stronger by creating deeper connections between our libraries and our communities. Our collective mind and shared experience will benefit from everyone’s participation.