February Poll Results: Libraries and Civic Engagement

Jennifer Peterson /

In our February 2016 WebJunction Crossroads poll, we explored the ways in which public libraries support civic engagement. This concept has been applied in a number of different ways, ranging from services and programs for newcomers, resources for voters in a representative democracy, or supporting the civil and civic rights of an engaged and informed citizenry. We're just beginning to learn more about these terms and approaches, and recognize that some of them may be new to libraries too.

We asked readers to reflect on and respond to the questions below to help us understand how libraries are approaching this work in their communities. In addition to the charts summarizing the 44 responses, we've included a short list of resources with examples of ways libraries are engaging with their communities in these areas.

Citizenship and Immigration

Which of these services related to citizenship and immigration does your library currently provide or hope to provide in the future?

Citizenship and Immigration Resources

Engaging Citizens in the Governing Process

Which of these services related to engaging citizens in the governing process and growing an informed citizenry does your library currently provide or hope to provide in the future?

Engaging Citizens in the Governing Process Resources

Inclusion & Dialogue

Which of services related to inclusion, citizen power, or civic dialogue, does your library currently provide or hope to provide in the future?

Inclusion & Dialogue Resources

As you can see, these poll results cover a lot of territory, touching on a range of programs, services, and library staff competencies. As libraries continue to assess, respond, and innovate in these areas, WebJunction will continue to highlight opportunities and approaches so that we can learn from each other in support of civic engagement.

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