Skills or knowledge needed to run learning circles in a public library

These notes came from a discussion held at the Boston Gathering (September 2019) about creating volunteer-led learning circles and learning programs in a public library setting.

What skills or knowledge do people need to run learning circles in a library setting?

  • Softskills
  • Discussion-based skills
  • Can they make other people comfortable?
  • Can they explain things?
  • Clear contact information
  • Clear pathways for involvement (the pathways to be involved in different programs or locations, what they can do)
  • Ability to find space
  • Pittsburgh’s intake process:
    • Online application
    • People can apply for specific positions and locations
    • Having a conversation with people (email, phone, in-person)
    • Volunteer position requirements: log your hours, wear your id.
    • Volunteer will take part in an in-person training workshop
  • Expectations new facilitators
    • Be compassionate
    • Be prepared to work with different types of people
    • Be patient with them
    • Praise those who are involved