CT Dialogue on Libraries Tentative Public Agenda 3.20.15 .pdf
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in partnership with
the Connecticut State Library
State Capitol Building ♦ Hartford, CT
April 13, 2015 ♦ 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Connecticut Dialogue on Public Libraries is a multi-stakeholder forum to identify strategic
opportunities presented by the state’s public libraries in response to the educational, economic, social and
technological transformations that are affecting individuals and communities across Connecticut. Civic
leaders, policymakers and library leaders will explore how to leverage the assets of these highly trusted
institutions to build more knowledgeable, healthy and sustainable communities.
Throughout the day, participants will explore the range of work that Connecticut’s libraries are doing
individually and collectively, as well as areas of greatest opportunity to interact with policymakers,
business leaders and civic partners across the state. Participating leaders will share their goals and
priorities for their organizations and communities, then address how public libraries can align their assets,
programs and services with these priorities. The discussion will highlight libraries’ outcome-based
approaches and what new proposals, partnerships or initiatives might be considered to drive development,
efficiencies and impact in communities across the state.
Recommended Background Reading: Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, a report
of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, available at http://as.pn/libraries
Note: All Dialogue sessions will take place in the Old Judiciary Room, Third Floor, State Capitol
Building. Please plan to arrive early to go through security and take your seat for the start of the
Connecticut Dialogue. Lunch will take place in the Old Appropriations Room.
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Light Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction by Kendall Wiggin, Connecticut State
Librarian and Amy Garmer, The Aspen Institute
9:15 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.
Opening Presentation by Tom Scheinfeldt, Director of Digital
Humanities, Digital Media Center, University of Connecticut
9:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Panel 1: Library Alignment with State Priorities on Education,
Youth and Families
Susan Hildreth, moderator, Fellow, The Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program
Matt Poland, Chief Executive Officer, Hartford Public Library and Member, Board of Education,
Hartford Public Schools
James Wadleigh, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Access HealthCT
Dianne Roberge Wentzell, Interim Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education
Expanding access to education, learning opportunities and social connection for all is one of the great
challenges of our time. Connecticut’s public libraries are drawing on their deep credentials as educators
and civic connectors to position themselves as a key hub of learning in the community. They are
especially effective in areas of informal and nontraditional learning across all ages, promoting traditional
and new forms of literacy, and as a critical institution for individuals and families confronting the
challenges of major work, health and life transitions. In this session, participants will examine the roles
that libraries are playing to address priorities for improving educational opportunities and outcomes,
engaging youth and strengthening families, and closing troubling gaps across the state. What are the
state’s priorities with respect to education, youth and families? How are libraries engaging their
communities within and outside the walls of the library building? How are government, business,
philanthropy and community organizations working with libraries to pursue their goals in these areas?
What are the elements and indicators of successful collaborations?
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Panel 2: Library Alignment with State Priorities in Economic,
Workforce and Community Development
Maxine Bleiweis, Executive Director, The Westport Library
John Dankosky, moderator, News Director, WNPR and Host, “Where We Live”
Juanita James, President & Chief Executive Officer, Fairfield County Community Foundation
Dennis Murphy, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Labor
In addition to providing a platform for learning, public libraries are also hubs for community and
workforce development, creativity and innovation. They provide a variety of technologies, tools and
resources; diverse spaces including makerspaces, STEM learning labs, hacker spaces, innovations centers,
co-working and collaboration spaces; and access to mentors and conversations among creative people.
Public libraries are well positioned to work with government, businesses and community partners to
design and deliver skill development opportunities and promote the development and use of advanced
high-speed Internet connectivity. In this session, participants will discuss how to take advantage of the
library’s expertise and assets to advance workforce, economic and community development initiatives
and goals. How are libraries transforming their spaces, programs and other assets to address community
priorities in these areas? How are government, business, philanthropy and community organizations
working with libraries to pursue their goals in these areas? Again, what are the elements and indicators of
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch & Keynote Address by Governor Dannel Malloy
Location: Old Appropriations Room, Third Floor
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