Civic Conversation in Libraries: At the Table Colorado

by Crystal Schimpf, Colorado Virtual Library

Would you like to host civic conversation in your library? At the Table Colorado is an organization that promotes and supports public engagement forums, flexible to any location or topic. The next statewide “table” will take place in April, and libraries make great conversation hosts and facilitators.

At the Table Colorado (ATTC) brings people from all walks of life together, during the same month, to participate in a series of free community-wide conversations about what makes their neighborhoods, communities, and regions great and what can be done to make them even better — more sustainable, stronger and vibrant. The next statewide ATTC will take place in April 2019, and will bring focus to conversations about: water, mental health, healthcare, affordable housing, equity, and immigration.

ATTC recently shared an update about the project in a webinar sponsored by the Colorado State Library, including an overview of the program and to learn how your library can participate by hosting community forums for civic conversation. Watch the archive of the webinar: Civic Conversation in Libraries: At the Table Colorado (2/26/19)

There are a wide range of resources on the ATTC website that can be used by libraries and other community organizations in hosting a table conversation. Visit At The Table Colorado’s Website: atthetablecolorado.org

There are also two earlier ATTC webinars focused on table conversations taking place in September 2018. Watch the archive of those webinars: At the Table Colorado Introduction (5/21/2018) At the Table Colorado Templates and Tools (9/6/2018)

Interested in staying in the loop about civic engagement topics in Colorado Libraries? Join our mailing list: CoCivicEngage

 

Grand Junction kicks off ATTC with “Does Public Art Matter?” at Mesa County Libraries

by Rachel Hanson, Head of Information Services, Mesa County Libraries

“There were 12 participants and I felt the group was a great balance of people who already knew each other or were familiar with each other, people widening their circle, and a couple of people who didn’t know anyone at the beginning. It was nice that some of the participants were able to fill in gaps about the history of art in our community or about the efforts and goals of some of the current organizations. Ideas for moving forward together were shared and the surveys indicated that most people are interested in continuing the conversation and including more people in it. A couple of people are interesting in hosting their own Table on different discussions.

I also felt like it was a success because people continued to talk even after announcements about the library closing for the night (it was probably a pro/con that the time was limited). Even as we were cleaning up, the discussion kept going.

It was successful enough for me that I would like the library to host another topic in April.”