Turning Outward

 

“Turning outward” is a process developed by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, which entails taking steps to better understand communities, changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused, being proactive to community issues, and putting community aspirations first. Each year, MHLS will work with a cohort of libraries to use the tools in Turning Outward to gather input from their community, which will be used in developing a strategic or long range plan to address community needs that resonates with library staff and trustees and the people the library serves.

2021 MHLS Turning Outward Cohort Program

Below you’ll find information for accessing the cohort calls and completing the work necessary to stay on track to understand Turning Outward, conduct community conversations, and create your library’s strategic plan. You’ll find recordings of previous calls as they become available, homework for upcoming calls along with due dates, and resources and tools reviewed on our calls that will help you complete your conversations and strategic plans. If you have any questions, you can contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin.

March 18 - Program Overview, Turning Outward Introduction, & Action Planning

Homework

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

 

April 22 - Public Knowledge & Community Conversations

Homework

  • Complete 2021 TO Action Plan Due April 15
    • Email completed action plan to Casey Conlin
  • Complete the Turning Outward Exercises below – Due April 22 before our call
  • Complete the Strategic Planning Exercises below 
    • Conduct a community conversation with the library board – Due before conversations begin
    • Conduct an assessment of library usage and trends – Due before September meeting

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

 

May 20 - Action Plans in Action & Conversation Skills

Homework

  • Finalize & Implement Your Action Plan including Engaging in Community Conversations with the Public and Key Officials and Organizations
  • Practice a Community Conversation
  • Engage the Library Board in a Community Conversation

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

 

June 10 - Experiences in Conversations & Organizing What You're Hearing

Homework

  • Implement Your Action Plan including Engaging in Community Conversations with the Public and Key Officials and Organizations
  • Organize Notes Using Organizing Your Notes

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

 

July 8 - What Did You Hear & Analyzing Capacity

Homework

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

September 23 - Understanding the Components of a Strategic Plan

Homework

  • Complete SOAR Exercise (SOAR Exercise Worksheet)
  • Use the Mad Lib Tool for Building Report to the Community
  • Work on Strategic Plan – Themes, Goals, Actions, Objectives, Mission, Planning Summary
    • One-page Template
    • Full Template with Table
    • Full Template No Table
    • Full Template No Objectives and Actions
  • Optionally, Work on Core Values Using Core Values Exercise and Vision Statement

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

Call Recording

October 21 - What's Your Plan?

Homework

  • Coming soon

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

  • Coming soon

Call Recording

  • Coming soon

 

November 18 - Finishing Up

Homework

  • Coming soon

Meeting Access (each meeting will use the same unique login info every month)

Relevant Resources

  • Coming soon

Call Recording

  • Coming soon

 

More Info

Tools, References, and Resources

  • Engage Mini-Webinar: Mahopac Library and Community Conversations – The Mahopac Library shares their experiences conducting “Community Conversations” Listen in as Michele Capozzella, Director of the Mahopac Library, and Alice Walsh, a trustee of the Mahopac library and leader of the library’s planning committee, share their experience using the American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities’ Turning Outward Resources to connect with their community through a series of “Community Conversations.”

  • Engage Mini-Webinar: Kingston and Highland Public Libraries – Hear from Kingston Public Library Director, Margie Menard and Highland Public Library Director, Julie Kelsall-Dempsey about their experiences with Turning Outward.
  • ASK Exercise – Four simple questions you can ask people one-on-one—patrons, even folks on the street—to begin learning what kind of community people want.
  • Community Conversations – A series of 90- to 120-minute conversations with community members about what they want their community to be; what challenges they face in realizing these aspirations; and what changes are needed to overcome them.
  • Sample Conversation Invitation Email – From the RoeJan Library.
  • Turning Outward Resources from ALA

Previous Cohorts

2019
  • Howland (Beacon) Library
  • Beekman Library
  • Putnam Valley Library
  • RoeJan Library

2018
  • Highland
  • Hudson
  • Kingston
  • LaGrange
  • New Lebanon
  • Putnam Valley
  • Rhinebeck
  • Saugerties
  • Tivoli

Upcoming Events