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Community Engagement Toolkit

Designed for libraries to explore community engagement


  • Empowerment is the ultimate goal of community engagement. All the prior principles and their strategies are linked to empowerment.
  • Empowerment cannot simply be brought about. Instead, through establishing trust, being flexible, and acting with respect and intentionality, conditions can be facilitated which allow communities to become empowered.
  • Communities must lead and have ownership of the engagement process, which requires disruption of preexisting power structures.
  • This principle does not have any attached strategies. Instead, by implementing the included strategies, utilizing your own expertise, and working effectively with the community, empowerment can become possible for all participants.
  • Actively sharing these principles or others with your community partners is one way to build capacity, establish trust and demonstrate transparency.
  • Act as an advocate and facilitate relationships among community groups and organizations as well as between your own organization and others. Encourage collaboration and further engagement.


About the Toolkit

This toolkit was originally created by NLM Fellow Allison Cruise in conjunction with the Office of Engagement & Training at the National Library of Medicine. Allison Cruise spent her 2nd Fellowship Year at UNM HSLIC.