Become a potent force for change


The Harwood Institute is working side by side with libraries and is demonstrating results with libraries of all sizes—from large urban systems to suburban libraries to small town and rural libraries with few staff.

Our work with libraries is our fastest spreading work in our 30 years. We are scaling the work through:

Video: Michigan Libraries Engage is an initiative to transform libraries through active engagement with their communities.

  • An ongoing partnership with the American Library Association, with which we do an annual Public Innovators Lab for libraries as well as sessions and workshops at ALA conferences.

  • Our partnerships with state libraries and library collaboratives in which we are spreading Turning Outward to libraries and building statewide networks across the states of California, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.

  • Partnerships with local systems such as the Denver Public Library, Youngstown and Mahoning Valley (OH) Public Library, and Suffolk Cooperative Library System (NY).

  • Our newly launched Library Ambassadors Group. This group provides critical insights, guidance, and advice for how the Institute can better engage with libraries in communities around the world.

Over just the last few years, our team of Harwood Certified Coaches has trained over 4,000 library professionals to bridge divides by cultivating shared values and strengthening civic culture; helping them become recognized as local leaders who are relevant to the sustainability of community life. These changes have led to increased funding, more recognition, and greater relevance for the library, while also developing stronger, healthier, and safer communities.

Upcoming Opportunities for Libraries


"By understanding our community, we can collaborate to solve problems and bring about positive change."

Heidi Daniel

President and CEO
The Enoch Pratt Library (MD)


"It's the pragmatic approach, not Utopian. You learn to set real expectations for your community."

Brian Dawson

Library Development Director
State Library Dept. of Education (PA)


"We can be what people need. It's common sense, but sometimes you have to teach common sense."

Cindy Fesemyer

Columbus Public Library (WI)

Library Webinars

Webinar 3 - September 25, 2019
Supporting a Turned Outward Organizational Structure
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Webinar 4 - November 20, 2019
The Library’s Role When Disaster Strikes
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Webinar 1 - April 23, 2019
New Engagement Strategies for Diverse Communities

Webinar 2 - June 26, 2019
Building Allies Across Community

Archived 2018 Webinars

Webinar 1 - March 21, 2018
Securing Funding for Turning Outward

Webinar 2 - June 27, 2018
Creating More Effective Library Programs

Webinar 4 - Nov 07, 2018
Libraries and Authentic Community Engagement

Our Partners