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Community Engagement Training Opportunity



The application deadline has passed.

The Public Library Development arm of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction is proud to partner with the American Library Association for a new state-level community engagement training, Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities.

Thriving Libraries, a team of consultants trained in community engagement and leadership development techniques, is providing the expertise for this 18-month hands on, cohort-based training. Up to 20 two-person Teams--consisting of one library staff member and one community member--will be trained in this inaugural effort.    Team Application

The community engagement training will result in:

  • Public libraries inspired to participate in communities in order to meet community needs on a local level.
  • Thorough understanding of community needs and future aspirations from diverse stakeholders.
  • Strong understanding of current community-based planning strategies in the library field and related fields.
  • Development and evolution of program and service offerings that serve community aspirations and needs.
  • Deeper relationships with communities that are typically underserved, underrepresented and underrecognized.

The Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities training relies on raising up library leaders in coaching positions, as well. Up to 10 individual Coaches will be trained as part of this state-wide effort. Envisioned as an 18-month masterclass in authentic leadership, resilience, and self-care, Coaches will be assigned two participant Teams to cheerlead and shepherd through their library community engagement projects.   Coach Application

An informational webinar was offered on Tuesday, December 17. Here's an archived version of that introductory webinar in case you missed it. (


A stated goal of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-year Plan for Wisconsin 2018-2022 is: Stronger engagement of public libraries with their communities and utilization of data to actively adapt to community needs. The objective of this goal is to increase awareness of community engagement as critical to public library sustainability and to provide training and resources to facilitate effective community engagement practices of libraries with their local communities.

The project stems from a multi-year initiative by DPI’s Division for Libraries and Technology. Per A Report on Findings from the Public Library Community Engagement Needs Assessment, the state will provide training for library directors/staff and municipal/community partners to enable success in these critical aspects of the library’s community engagement initiative. The learning cohort will participate in:

  1. Preparing library staff, library trustees, municipal leaders and community partners for community engagement efforts;
  2. Collecting community needs, wants and aspirations;
  3. Creating and building sustainable community partnerships;
  4. Hiring staff and nurturing a staff culture conducive to engagement;
  5. Planning and carrying out programs and/or services in response to community engagement initiatives;
  6. Measuring the success of community engagement activities; and
  7. Locating and leveraging demographic information about communities served.


For questions about this information, contact Cindy Fesemyer (608) 266-8053