Socioeconomic Mixing: Creating Public Libraries Where Everyone Belongs
Sunday, January 29, 2023
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Location: Morial Convention Center, Room 288-290
Level of Participation: High
Please note: this session included individual or small group work so there will be breaks in the presentation.
Today, too many people live in communities where they rarely encounter others from different economic, social and racial backgrounds. By focusing on the outcome of socioeconomic mixing, the concepts and examples presented will address the opportunities for the public library to deliver the following: growing social capital, improving health, providing economic opportunities and generating trust. One of the case studies elevated will be the transformation of the historic Cossitt Library in Memphis. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, Cossitt Library was designed to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the community. As part of Reimagining the Civic Commons, national initiative focused advancing new ways of designing, managing and measuring public spaces - the renovated space transforms to accommodate diverse neighborhood endeavors: creating an unrestricted landscape for myriad social engagements, workshops, presentations, and artful installations. Creating equitable access to information and library services is a key action for ALA. This proposal focuses on the outcome of socioeconomic mixing delivered through the public realm, specifically the public library. As a space that can foster socioeconomic mixing, the public library offers a promising opportunity to create spaces and programs where shared experiences can be formed among people of diverse backgrounds, leading to increased economic mobility and generating greater well-being and connection.
The learner will be able to identify and select principles and design strategies that lead to creating spaces that welcome all.
The learner will be able to advocate for the importance of the public library as a space for shared experiences among people of all incomes and backgrounds.
The learner will be able to demonstrate the value of socioeconomic mixing for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.