Empathy is generally defined as “the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.” As libraries continue to evolve to meet the needs of their users and communities, a barrier to building more empathetic and trusting relationships often stems from a lack of understanding about how to start and construct conversations with them.

This program is designed to help you prepare for and build more empathetic and trustful conversations with your community.

Throughout the session, we will offer opportunities for participants to practice what they learn through exercises and reflections that they can use in their everyday interactions.

As a result of this program, attendees will learn:

• How to identify conversation types with the public
• how to prepare for and plan conversations addressing various issues
• how to use positive language statements to guide the conversation
• and how to use empathy-driven approaches to gain greater understanding and build trust


Original broadcast May 27, 2021 


Presenter ~ Lauren Clossey
Lauren Clossey is the Continuing Education Consultant for the State Library of North Carolina. Having worked in academic, school, and public libraries, she has varied experiences that focused her interests on professional development and adult learning. Lauren is a certified instructional technologist, certified public librarian, and a licensed school library media coordinator.
She plans for and develops the State Library’s Continuing Education program, focused on professional development opportunities for North Carolina’s library staff in academic and public libraries.

Presenter ~  Amanda Johnson
Amanda Johnson has worked in public, academic, and special libraries, as well as archives. She joined the State Library of North Carolina in 2014 as the data analysis and communications consultant and state data coordinator. She administers the annual public library survey for North Carolina and provides consulting services for developing programmatic evaluations, finding library and community data, and communicating data.