When the pandemic of 2020/2021 forced libraries to close their buildings, we launched the Reimagine Libraries project to learn what library staff need to commit to, so to successfully work with and support their communities in times of crisis (such as the pandemic and the civil unrest following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Dion Johnson). Our initial participatory design research led to the publication of a Field Guide that outlines four essential tasks that library staff must embrace in order to effectively serve non-dominant youth and families throughout their communities.
Since the launch of this project and the publication of the Field Guide, we’ve continued to explore, with library staff, the opportunities and challenges for serving communities during times of crisis and beyond. This ongoing work includes investigating how library practices are changing to better build services with community stakeholders, and uncovering opportunities to provide professional development, resources, and support to help library staff gain the skills and mindsets required to embrace the essential tasks.
We will continue to add content to this website as we publish materials and develop resources resulting from our research. You can get started learning about what we’ve uncovered by: