Saturday, July 23, 2005

Engaging Communities: A Librarian at Every Table. No. 289.

International Conference on Engaging Communities.
The International Conference on Engaging Communities is an initiative of the United Nations and the Government of the State of Queensland, Australia. This unique event will explore all issues related to community engagement and address the experiences, challenges and research which affect all citizens, governments and organisations alike. The program is designed to interest representatives from community groups, academia, government agencies, corporations, associations and the like.
Around the world, greater engagement of citizens, clients, consumers and communities is becoming a feature of many governments and both public and private organisations. People are expecting to be able to be involved and to have a say in the business of government and in the decisions of organisations that affect their interests. Many are concerned about low levels of knowledge and the poor relations with communities that reduce the trust in public and private institutions. This in turn, impedes effective decision-making and the achievement of social and economic development and environmental sustainability outcomes. Accordingly, some governments and organisations are responding with a renewed commitment to effective engagement and some are using innovative methods of doing so to deliver better results for customers, citizens and communities.
Program includes Robert Putnam whose 2003 book, BETTER TOGETHER: Restoring the American Community, includes Chicago Public Library as an example.

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