Communities are diverse and dynamic. No single resource can inform engagement for all communities across time and space. The purpose of this toolkit is to assist those starting engagement projects with recognizing opportunities where organizational resources and expertise potentially align with community needs and goals, and with beginning the engagement process in an informed, intentional way.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to community engagement, we hope this toolkit sparks ideas and inspires confidence for community engagement stakeholders with any level of experience.
This toolkit was designed with the goal to be flexible, allowing users to apply the principles and resources to a variety of communities and community needs.
The toolkit is divided into five principles which have been identified with help from OET and NIH, NLM and NNLM stakeholders. Beneath each principle are explanations for why it is important to community engagement, and strategies and resources to help bring the principle into practice. The principles are not hierarchical or independent of one another, instead they are interrelated concepts which overlap and support one another.
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.