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Managing Challenges, Maximizing Impact: Policies and Practices for Controversial Programming. Saturday, June 28; 10:30-11:30a.m. Speakers: Lesley Williams Head of Adult Services and Muslim Journeys Project Director, Evanston ( Ill.) Public Library Martin Garnar

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managing challenges maximizing impact policies and practices for controversial programming

Managing Challenges, Maximizing Impact:Policies and Practices for Controversial Programming

Saturday, June 28; 10:30-11:30a.m.

Speakers:

Lesley Williams

Head of Adult Services and Muslim Journeys Project Director, Evanston (Ill.) Public Library

Martin Garnar

Chair, ALA Committee on Professional Ethics

Reference Services Librarian and Professor of Library Science, Regis University

Presented by the ALA Public Programs Office and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

common faux pas

Common Faux Pas

One-sided publicity efforts.

Panel not balanced.

No clear vision for the program.

Weak or overly polemical speaker.

Ignorance of topic or of speaker – no surprises!

be prepared

Be Prepared!

Know your topic.

Know your speakers.

Know your institutional policies.

Know your community.

Know the law.

slide5

Dealing with Your Administration

  • Relate program to your mission.
  • “All publicity is good publicity.”
  • No such thing as controversy-free.
  • Community connections.
slide6

Dealing with the Media

  • Have an elevator speech ready.
  • Anticipate the “gotcha” questions.
  • Stay on topic, on message.
  • Have a “cheat sheet” handout.
slide7

Handling Tough Conversations

  • Acknowledge the emotions involved.
  • Acknowledge the controversy.
  • Don’t expect miracles.
  • Demand respect.
slide8

Work with Your Speakers

  • Introduce your panel.
  • Highlight their background, accomplishments.
  • Use their experience.
  • Ask them for humanizing stories, anecdotes.
slide9

Facilitator Strategies

  • Review ground rules/agreements.
  • Control the mic.
  • Use written questions.
  • Resist shout outs.
slide10

Sample Agreements for Dialogue

  • Speak only for yourself, not for your “group.”
  • Allow others to finish speaking.
  • Ask questions to learn, not to convince others.
  • Address people by the names and terms they prefer.
  • Avoid assigning beliefs or motives to others.
  • What’s said in the room stays in the room.
slide11

Icebreaker Questions

  • What brings you here today?
  • What do you hope to get out of today’s conversations?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you felt you were “the only one” in the room, the office, the dorm. . .
  • What do you love best about this town/college?
slide12

Some Key Phrases

  • “Excuse me, but do you have a question?”
  • “Please don’t generalize about any group.”
  • “Does anyone have a different view?”
  • “I appreciate your passion. Let’s give someone else the floor.”
slide13

Keeping Everyone Safe

  • Hire security, make them visible.
  • Greet everyone at the door; make eye contact.
  • Speak calmly, keep your voice low.
  • State your expectations and enforce them.
slide14

Resources

  • Public Conversations project
  • http://www.publicconversations.org
  • 20,000 Dialogues
  • http://www.20000dialogues.org
  • Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
  • http://www.interfaithdialog.org
slide15

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.”

  • Lesley Williams
  • Head of Adult Services, Evanston Public Library
  • 847-448-8646
  • lawilliams@cityofevanston.org
  • www.facebook.com/crankylibrarian
  • www.linkedin.com/in/lesleyawilliams
slide17

Goals of This Section

  • Review potential scenarios and discuss options for response.
  • Review resources from ALA.
  • Field questions from the audience.
slide18

Scenario 1

  • A woman comes to the desk with one of your Muslim Journey books and says, “We don’t have any Muslims in this area. Why did you spend my tax dollars on this stuff?”
  • How do you respond?
slide19

Scenario 2

  • A man brandishing one of your Muslim Journey event posters storms into your office and says “You’re promoting a religion! That’s a violation of the separation of church and state!”
  • What’s your response?
slide20

Scenario 3

  • A woman walks up to your desk with 25 books on Christianity. She says that her church would like to donate them so that they can balance out the Muslim books from your grant.
  • What’s your response?
slide21

Scenario 4

  • After your screening of one of the Muslim Journey films, an audience member requests that the library put on a similar program for The Passion of The Christ.
  • What are the issues to consider when you respond?
slide22

Scenario 5

  • A man comes to your library with a list of books that are critical of Islam and asks them to be added to your collection so that “the other side of the story” is being told.
  • What are the issues to consider when you respond?
resources from ala general

Resources from ALA: General

Intellectual Freedom Manual, http://ifmanual.org

slide24

Resources from ALA: General

Religion in American Libraries: Questions and Answers,

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/meetingrooms/religion-q-a

slide25

ALA: Collection Development

Diversity of Collection Development: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, http://ifmanual.org/diversecollection

slide26

ALA: Collection Development

Public Library Collection Development Policies and Intellectual Freedom,http://ifmanual.org/plcdpif

slide27

ALA: Complaints and Media Relations

  • Guidelines for Responding to Complaints, http://ifmanual.org/
  • guidelinecomplaint
slide28

ALA: Complaints and Media Relations

  • Privacy Tool Kit,http://www.ala.org/advocacy/
  • privacyconfidentiality/toolkitsprivacy/privacy
contact us

Contact Us

Martin Garnar

mgarnar@regis.edu; 303-964-5459

Lesley Williams

lawilliams@cityofevanston.org; 847-448-8646

Lainie Castle

lcastle@ala.org; 312-280-5055

ALA OIF

oif@ala.org; 312-280-4223

ALA PPO

publicprograms@ala.org; 312-280-5045