Aspirations in Action

Thank you for “Building Community in Today’s World”

Thank you to the 100+ community members, Oak Park stakeholders, and public library staff who attended sessions with Rich Harwood, president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and creator of the turning outward practice. On Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5, we had an incredible two days of learning. Read more about Rich’s visit to Oak Park, his message of hope and our individual roles in co-creating our communities »

Turning outward

Community is at the heart of all we do. Executive Director David J. Seleb explains in this video by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation »

The library uses public knowledge about community aspirations to guide our everyday work through our strategic plan. Here are a few more specific examples of library work inspired by community aspirations:

How do we learn about community aspirations?

We start with a single question: What kind of community do you want to live in?

Since 2014, we have listened, learned, and acted on feedback from library patrons, governmental peers, and community members and partners. Most recently, in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018, more than 200 people shared their hopes, dreams, and emerging concerns. Through mind map analysis, six common themes emerged:

  • Affordability
  • Community Empathy
  • Civic Engagement
  • Safety
  • Inclusion & Equity
  • Community Progress

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