Engineering Change in Libraries

Engineering Change in Libraries: A Pathway for Meaningful Action

Is your library wanting to build community?
Join colleagues from around the world in learning and planning globally to create change locally.

The aim of Engineering Change in Libraries is to understand the Other and mobilize our libraries to provide more effective and equitable services and programs to underserved communities. Inspired by Dr. Agnes Kaposi, a catalyst for change and 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, Engineering Change is organized into two components: (1) the lecture (setting the context) and (2) a two-session workshop for library staff and stakeholders to engineer change in libraries in a process of understanding the Other and planning globally to create change locally


An engineer of change, Dr. Agnes Kaposi (Engineer, Educator, Holocaust survivor, Author of “Yellow Star-Red Star”, recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer), brings nearly a century of perspective as she tells her life story and the role of information as a source of power/control resulting in otherness, exclusion, propaganda, dislocation, as well as transformation in engineering change. A conversation, moderated by Dr. Valerie J. Matsumoto (George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community, UCLA), connects Dr. Kaposi’s experiences with those of other marginalized and dislocated groups worldwide, such as Japanese Americans, to identify similarities and differences across time and locations, in order to understand the Other and rethink some of the most pressing issues that libraries face in promoting equitable communities in our information-intensive and networked society. The 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture took place on November 8, 2021. Watch recording at


Engineer change in libraries in an international workshop to learn and plan globally to create change locally. Library staff and stakeholders are invited to attend a two-session workshop to understand the Other by learning from each other’s experiences and challenges, connect as a community of practice, engineer meaningful action, and implement the solution while supporting each other in their journeys to engineer real change in their libraries and communities.

Each interactive workshop, a pathway/process to engineer change in libraries, focuses on a specific area of action. It is presented in two 1.5-hour sessions, with the second session occurring two months following the first one, and virtual open consultation hours midway. The first session begins with a speaker introducing the topic; followed by group discussion of local experiences, brainstorming, and prioritizing an issue to be addressed; then collectively, participants develop an action plan that they will apply at their library. During a two-month period participants implement their action plan locally and have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain input midway through the process. After two months, the participants reconvene in the second session as a community of practice to reflect and improve on their action plan, as needed.

To understand the need to engineer change from one story of the Other/persecuted, participants are encouraged to listen to the recording of the Lecture.

WHO should attend? 

  • Library personnel, particularly those with responsibilities for public libraries, community libraries, school or academic libraries
  • Educators, researchers and students in university departments of librarianship and cognate disciplines
  • Library trustees, friends and volunteers
  • Government officials, policy makers, and others responsible for libraries
  • Library stakeholders 

HOW LONG are the workshops?

  • 1.5 hours per virtual workshop session
  • Each workshop is made up of 2 sessions, two months apart, with optional virtual open consultation midway

WHEN are the workshops, and WHAT is the focus of action?

  • Inaugural Workshop on Dislocation
    Feb 15, 2022; 8:00-9:30 am CT session 1 <RECORDING> | March 15, 8:00-9:30 am CT open consultation | April 19, 8:00-9:30 am CT session 2 <RECORDING>
  • Workshop on Propaganda
    March 1, 2022; 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 1 <RECORDING> | April 5, 4:00-5:30 pm CT open consultation | May 3, 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 2
ABOUT Dr. Agnes Kaposi
ABOUT our Facilitators
THE LECTURE | 'Engineering Change' with Dr. Agnes Kaposi | November 8, 2021

THE WORKSHOP | February 15, 2022 & March 1, 2022