2017 Agenda

Day 1
Wednesday, May 24

Opening cocktail reception

With presentation of innovative work being done by public libraries across the state.

Dinner and Keynote Presentation by John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown is Independent Co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge and Visiting Scholar, Annenberg Center, University of Southern California.
Day 2
Thursday, May 25

Session I: Building Resilient Communities: The Role of Libraries

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.

  • How do communities become resilient? What does a resilient community look like?
  • What is the role of the library in building and strengthening networks that contribute to community resiliency?
10:20 am - 10:40 am


Session II: Statewide Priorities in Learning and Community Development

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.

  • How are libraries engaging their communities within and outside the walls of the library building to improve learning opportunities and outcomes?
  • What needs to happen for libraries to align better with government, business, philanthropies and community organizations to achieve significant progress in these areas?
  • What are the elements of successful collaborations?
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm


Session III: Break-out Sessions (reconvene in plenary, then go to break-out groups)

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.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm


Session IV: Strengthening Partnerships, Ensuring Accountability and Sustainability

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.

  • How do we make this work sustainable and scalable?
  • What factors (e.g., the diversity of funding, governance and other models represented across Colorado’s public libraries, or other factors) create opportunities or challenges with regard to the effective and efficient engagement of libraries by state and local partners?
  • What are the next steps of moving toward a vision of Colorado public libraries as key partners with their communities and state leaders?

Next Steps, Conclusory Remarks and Adjourn

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.