Cleveland Public Library - Learning Circle Feedback

Hello Everyone!!!

I am the evaluation partner for P2PU and their IMLS project of which the Cleveland Public Libraries are a part. I will be collecting and analyzing learner data as well as other information about Cleveland and five other library systems throughout the country that are participating in the study. Our goal is to determine how well Learning Circles (LCs) work in various environments with an effort to design support systems which further the success of LCs. Overall, the Learning Circle model was developed for public library systems to increase the likelihood of success in online educational formats for those without college degrees.

Your input is key!! Please share the successes, challenges and opportunities of your experiences with Learning Circles. Suggested topics include a wide array of areas including technology, curriculum, personalities, barriers and sources of personal motivation.

What types of experiences did you find most challenging or rewarding?
Are there opportunities for branches in your system to interact with one another to share positive and negative experiences with offering Learning Circles?

Please describe how you found out about LCs and what inspired you to become a facilitator.

If you are involved with outreach and engagement for the library – what efforts were implemented to bring attention to LCs? Are different branches experiencing higher levels of success? If so, what may be contributing factors?

Greetings! I’m Steve Capuozzo, Assistant Branch Manager at Cleveland Public Library’s Jefferson Branch. I ran a learning circle in the fall of 2017 called “Management for a Competitive Edge.” The Library promoted it via social media and the web site, which seemed to work very well. I had about 10 people sign up, but unfortunately only about half that amount actually showed up. Three people completed the course. I was presented with the opportunity to become a facilitator and I happily agreed because I find it interesting to try new things.

Greetings Steve!

Thank-you for responding to the post. It’s great that the response to social media and the web site was positive. Did you find that those who actually ended up taking the course were comfortable using social media/internet and that it was their preferred way of accessing information? One of the challenges for Library systems offering LCs is successful marketing.

What types of topics were covered in your LC? Do you know if those who completed took the end-of-course survey? Have you considered facilitating another LC? Are you comfortable sharing why or why not?

On another note…how supported were you by the Library system to serve in the capacity of facilitator? Was there internal training, access to other seasoned facilitators or an ability to interface with the Library’s/branch’s educational support people? Were you directed to access the P2PU materials, websites or community forum prior to starting your session?

While we are encouraging facilitators to use this community forum as a way of sharing their experiences, if there is anything that you want to share privately with me to anonymously include in the evaluation, please feel free to contact me via my personal email:

The LC participants were definitely comfortable using the internet/social media. While many people signed up because of the social media post, a couple individuals participated because they were told about the opportunity by a library staff member.

The course we took was “Management for a Competitive Edge,” which covered a variety of general management topics:
The origin and history of management
What defines successful management today
The theoretical and practical application of strategic management tools
The importance of planning and goal setting
How to develop sustainable competitive advantages
The process to develop a group
The importance of motivation and constructive communication
What defines a successful leader and different leadership styles

I do not know if the participants completed the end of course survey. I know that the P2PU people sent a link to the survey to the participants, and I followed up with the participants via email as well to remind them to take the survey.

I have considered facilitating another learning circle, but haven’t been able to schedule one partly because my branch was closed for renovations for several months this year. The Library supported my efforts to facilitate the LC - I participated in a webinar where I learned the basics of facilitating and how to use the P2PU dashboard. The handful of other employees at my Library also facilitated LCs, so we supported each other as well.

Let me know if there’s any other questions.

Thanks Steve, I appreciate the reply!