In late summer of 2016, Skokie (IL) Public Library created a Civic Lab–a mobile, pop-up initiative to increase public discussion and civic literacy among library patrons of all ages. Hear from Christine Goertz and Amy Holcomb, two members of the Civic Lab team, to learn about why civic engagement is inherent in library services, the background of the Civic Lab, strategies in developing civic literacy opportunities across multiple departments, and the four types of pop-up events that make up the majority of Civic Lab appearances. They’ll also discuss the lessons learned from three years of civic literacy programming.

Learning Objectives:

• Be able to articulate and advocate for the role of the public library as a convener of civic engagement opportunities in the community
• Be able to identify strategies and topics for engaging patrons in thought-provoking ideas and dialogue beyond traditional programming
• Be able to identify and engage library staff at all levels in civic engagement initiatives across the library

Biography ~ Christine Goertz
Christine Goertz is a Collection Development Librarian for the Youth Services Department at the Skokie Public Library selecting fiction for birth to age 12. When she is not busy reading for Skokie’s Hot Summer Reads Committee, Christine is usually prepping for an upcoming Civic Lab. She is currently at work preparing for a pop-up focused on how the disposal of household clutter impacts the environment.

Original broadcast July 30, 2020

Biography – Amy Holcomb
Amy Holcomb is the Experiential Learning Supervisor at Skokie (IL) Public Library where she manages three hands-on learning spaces for youth, teens, and adults. She entered libraries through a series of fortunate events while an undergraduate studying chemistry. She loves applying her science background in programming opportunities and really loves how learning and sharing knowledge are essential parts of her job. Amy is a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. Her favorite Civic Lab topics are science related, including genetic editing, outer space ownership, and climate change.