With presentation of innovative work being done by public libraries across the state.
Resiliency: “The ability of communities to rebound, positively adapt to, or thrive amidst changing conditions or challenges—including disasters and climate change— and maintain quality of life, healthy growth, durable systems, and conservation of resources for present and future generations.”-- Colorado Resiliency Working Group
In this session, participants will explore in greater detail this definition, the nature of the resources needed to create a resilient community, and the ways that libraries can contribute to building healthier, stronger communities. Participants will consider insights from recent studies on economic resiliency in rural communities, demographics and other trends and how the people-place-platform assets of libraries may be leveraged to develop resiliency and address core community priorities.
Public libraries are especially effective in supporting learning and education across all ages, promoting traditional and new forms of literacy, and as critical institutions for individuals and families confronting the challenges of major work, health and life transitions. In this session, participants will examine the priorities and goals of Colorado communities in these areas – developing human, economic and social capital – that are driven by the need for continuous learning and connectivity. Participants will consider the interplay of statewide trends with new developments that are reshaping learning, jobs and civic participation. Participants will begin to identify how libraries can play a greater role in closing troubling gaps and building more sustainable communities.
From the morning sessions, participants have identified opportunities for leveraging the expertise and infrastructure of Colorado’s public libraries for greater community impact. In smaller working groups, participants will identify models that are working well, where the opportunities are for additional partnerships and collaborations in pursuit of common objectives, and what barriers may impede action and progress moving forward. The discussion will be mindful of the differing needs and experiences among urban, suburban, small and rural communities in the state, including their need and capacity for resource sharing, networking and overall shared experience and vision. The goal is for each working group to report back in plenary one or two key recommendations for action to advance progress on library-community partnerships that build community capacity and resilience.
A spokesperson from each working group will provide a brief presentation of the group’s key recommendations. Participants will identify what steps need to be taken, and by whom, in order to make the agenda actionable. Participants will discuss ways to build momentum coming out of the Aspen Institute Colorado Dialogue on Libraries and how to ensure accountability and sustainability for library- related initiatives, including sources of revenue to support transformations of and new roles for public libraries where needed. Participants will also touch on the ways in which local and state level stakeholders can integrate libraries into long-range planning for Colorado.
Participants will refine elements of an action agenda and determine next steps, including what role the Colorado State Library can play in assisting communities across the state.