Skip to main content

Facilitation Training for Library Staff

Facilitation Training Video Series

Over the course of 2018 and 2019, MCLS, in partnership with the Library of Michigan as part of the Libraries Engage project, offered several trainings on facilitation across the state. These workshops were presented by Mary and Sarah of We Can Work It Out, LLC. The trainings included sessions on Basic Facilitation Skills as well as Advanced Facilitation Skills, which covered topics of "Handling Conflict" and "Coming to Agreement." The sessions were open to all staff members of Michigan libraries. They were developed to be most fruitful for those who work on community engagement projects for their library, or who facilitate group discussions, meetings, and events.

Along with the live trainings, Mary and Sarah worked with MCLS, Library of Michigan, and Good Fruit Video to create a series of short resource videos, highlighting some key skills and tools helpful to those in libraries facilitating meetings, strategic planning sessions, one-on-one interactions with patrons, and library-sponsored Community Conversations or any kind of focus groups. We hope that they are helpful to you. Please feel free to access the videos as often as you like, as you develop your own facilitation skills.

Facilitation Tool 1: Roadmapping

A key skill for helping the group stay on topic by reminding where you've been and where you're heading next.

Facilitation Tool 2: Interrupting & Redirecting

The second skill for helping the group stay on topic, these are critical skills that every facilitator needs to practice.

Facilitation Tool 3: Using a Parking Lot

The third skill for helping the group stay on topic, Parking Lots help you keep track of off-topic but important issues and concerns.

Facilitation Tool 4: Surfacing Questions & Concerns

An important skill when working with a group who is trying to come to agreement.

Facilitation Tool 5: Reflective Listening

A powerful tool for connecting and engaging with someone who is upset.

Facilitation Tool 6: Reframing

Reframing is a tool to keep a discussion constructive.