General Session: Lighting the Way on your Equity Journey: Co-Creating Evaluation Projects with Community Partners
Public libraries serve increasingly diverse stakeholders, each with unique interests, needs and strengths. Using the tools from community engagement and culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE), you can help create an inclusive space where community members see their culture, values and lived experiences reflected in the library programming and collections; and an environment where partners can help light the way and contribute to transparent and collaborative program evaluations.
In this session, we will come to a shared language around CREE (Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation). Next, through real life examples, we will explore some of the different ways that community members can be engaged throughout the evaluation continuum–community advisory boards, YPAR (youth participatory action research), participatory assessment mapping, Photovoice, other arts-based methods, journey maps, and data parties.
After these early discussions, we will focus on how to apply this thinking to our current work. First, we will address the commonly asked question, “What if I am doing it wrong?”, by practicing creating a small interactive and culturally responsive evaluation activity that can be used at the end of meetings or events. Then, we will discuss another common issue: the danger posed by becoming too “comfortable” in our usual approaches/usual partners. Through a case study, we will brainstorm about how to understand the existing structural and historical violence in our partner communities and how to be mindful of the power of contemporary differences around scheduling, language, learning styles, and technology access. Finally, we will discuss our “homework” for creating some “cheat sheets” that will help us navigate challenging discussions about evaluation results with our teams, stakeholders, and community partners.
Participants will leave this session ready to begin integrating CREE into their program planning and to start to lead conversations about community engagement.
This session is sponsored by Embedding Evaluation in Libraries as part of its Institute of Museum and Library Services grant.