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Screenshot of participants in the 2020 Library Innovation Lab Cohort
Image courtesy of Library Innovation Lab 2020 Cohort

Library Innovation Lab 2020 Cohort Update

The fourth year of California Humanities’ Library Innovation Lab program is well underway. The recruitment phase for the 2020 cohort ended in March with the selection of 10 outstanding applicants from libraries across the state, representing a range of interesting personal backgrounds (four are themselves immigrants) and levels of professional experience. Click HERE for a list of participating libraries and librarians.

Given the restrictions posed by the statewide home-stay order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom in mid-March, it became clear we would need to revamp our plans for the usual face-to-face orientation meeting and shift to a virtual platform if we were to meet the tight timetable of activities for this program. Thanks to the flexibility and adaptability shown by our library mentors Guadalupe Gomez of Anaheim Public Library and Erin Sanders of Oakland Public Library (both program alumnae), consultant Lisa Eriksen, and California Humanities staff (Debra White, Kirsten Vega, Felicia Kelley, Julie Fry), we were able to shift gears and organize a virtual convening held over the period of three days (April 28 – 30, 2020). The convening included time for social interaction, as well as content resources and training in Design Thinking. Participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with one another and project team members, as well as to deepen their understanding of program goals, methods, and requirements.

We are currently following up by providing individual support and informational resources and have scheduled a virtual check-in meeting at the end of May, at which participants will share work-in-progress about their evolving programming plans. We will reconvene the group the group in late June (either face-to-face in Oakland, if feasible, or again virtually, if not) to continue work on their plans for fall Library Innovation Lab programming. Stay tuned for more updates!

Library Innovation Lab is supported in part by Wells Fargo Foundation and the generosity of individual donors throughout California.

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