Community Engagement Checklist


  1. Embrace the importance of community-wide connections by meeting with and supporting local groups.
  2. Establish cooperative agreements between the library and other agencies for shared programs and services.
  3. Participate as an active member and leader (and host) of community groups.
  4. Recruit community volunteers for support as defined in the library’s written volunteer policy.
  5. Ensure that a staff person is responsible for volunteer coordination and training.
  6. Maintain a formal friends or foundation that meets on a regular basis with a library staff liaison present, and follow the national guidelines for the role of each.
  7. Involve library staff, friends and the community in long range plans and fundraising activities.
  8. Make clear distinctions about the responsibilities of the friends group or foundation, and keep funds raised by these groups separate; do not mix with normal operating expenses.
  9. Collect statistics and conduct research such as, customer surveys, community studies, citizen surveys, and other means appropriate to evaluate library services and resources.
  10. Use statistics and other data collection to communicate impact and relevance of library services to the community.
  11. Build “social capital[1]” through civic engagement.

Community Engagement Checklist – FUTURE-FOCUSED

  1. Convene community meetings involving multiple stakeholders to address community issues.
  2. Encourage community members to participate in conversations about issues that are important to them – beyond library services. Invite partners to work together on plans that address community needs from multiple perspectives.
  3. Collect, organize, and provide information about community groups and issues.
  4. Participate in (or convene) cooperative planning and programming with community groups. Share associated costs when feasible.
  5. Embed library staff in community commissions, boards, neighborhood groups, organizations, and chambers.
  6. Invite community groups and/or businesses to participate in volunteer activities.
  7. Recruit mentors to assist in programs, labs, STEAM/STEM, art and other community-focused activities.

[1] Social capital refers to the value of social relations and the role of cooperation to achieve collective or economic results. Source: NC Public Library Standards, 2012.

Overview Video All Community Engagement

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