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Connecticut Rising to the Challenge: A Report of the Conecticut Dialogue on Public Libraries

January 26, 2016

On April 13, 2015, nearly 100 library leaders, state and local policy makers, and civic partners convened at the Connecticut State Capitol to explore the opportunities for working more closely and more intentionally with Connecticut's public libraries. Two themes formed the focal point for the daylong discussions: (1) how to leverage the considerable assets of the state's public libraries to build more knowledgeable, healthy and sustain able communities across the state and (2) how to improve the sustainability of public libraries in Connecticut. Convened by the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries in partnership with the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Dialogue on Public Libraries examined the work Connecticut's public libraries are already doing individually and collectively to meet community needs, address emerging challenges, and build more connected communities. Participants in the Dialogue also explored the economic and social challenges that are shaping community needs in Connecticut and fiscal challenges affecting library sustainability. Finally, the Dialogue considered new proposals, partnerships, and initiatives to guide collective action by the Connecticut State Library, the 164 local public libraries, and state and community partners. The Connecticut session was the first in a series of state and local dialogues that will examine issues, challenges, and opportunities facing communities and their public libraries, building on the framework provided by the Aspen Institute's October 2014 report, Rising to the Challenge: Re - Envisioning Public Libraries.