Repairing America will be the overarching theme for the majority of the Boston Public Library’s programming and services during calendar year 2021.
Racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, homophobia, and other forms of intolerance have divided our nation, while basic issues of public health and pandemic response have become politicized. Massive gaps between the haves and have-nots are nearly impossible to cross.
As one of the United States’ last truly democratic institutions, we at the BPL have a responsibility to help bridge these divisions. This year, the library is focusing its institutional priorities on finding ways to help Americans become more resilient and able to face the challenges of today.
- Economic recovery
- Civic engagement and discourse
- COVID-19 recovery
- Racial equity
- Workforce development
- Youth engagement
The library has partnered with three organizations to facilitate and foster community conversations around the Repairing America themes.
A Living Room Conversation is a conversational model developed by dialogue experts in order to facilitate connection between people despite their differences, and even identify areas of common ground and shared understanding. Learn about the Living Room Conversations open source project.
The Local Voices Network (LVN) is a unique physical-digital network designed to bring under-represented community voices, perspectives, and stories to the center of a healthier public dialogue. At the center of these conversations is a “digital hearth,” a specialized device that records the discussion as the host guides the group through questions about locally relevant topics.
Learning Circles are “lightly facilitated” study groups for learners who want to take freely available online courses together. Without a formal teacher in the room, learning circles succeed through peer learning, a practice in which every participant brings their own experiences, shares with one another, and gives feedback. Visit the site our partner organization Peer 2 Peer University.