Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Classes, and Nonprofits (2017)
Bess G. de Farber, April Hines, and Barbara J. Hood
Interaction with strangers cultivates creativity and provides opportunities for joining forces to achieve great ends. However most people tend to avoid talking or working with people they do not know, whether in the library, a classroom, or in academic and nonprofit settings. And to do so is to short-circuit much of the creative potential that is so necessary for innovation, and that organizational stakeholders crave. Enter CoLAB. Developed and presented by de Farber at workshops across the country, and used by the authors to successfully spur collaboration at the University of Florida (including faculty-librarian, librarian-librarian, librarian-student, faculty-faculty, student-student, and student-librarian-community member), it showcases the power of face-to-face conversations. Leading readers through a unique framework that breaks down barriers to collaboration while also kindling long-lasting enthusiasm, this manual includes
- testimonials from workshop participants that demonstrate the benefits of a Collaborating with Strangers workshop;
- step by step guidance on every aspect of organizing and presenting a CoLAB workshop;
- helpful photographs and diagrams that show prep and workshops in action;
- ready to use surveys for assessment before and after the workshop;
- grant proposal development techniques for bringing two or more organizations together on a project;
- pointers on how to adapt the workshop for ice-breakers, conference programs, or classrooms; and
- samples of workshop promotion pieces that can be adapted as needed.
Libraries have always connected patrons to resources and information; this resource shows how, through successful group collaboration, organizations can extend that connection to include the talents and assets of community members.