Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Class, and Nonprofits

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Class, and Nonprofits

Article excerpt

Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Class, and Nonprofits. By Bess G. de Farber, April Hines, and Barbara J. Hood. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2017. 160 p. Paper $55 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1542-4).

The premise of this book is that talking to strangers should be less frightening and more rewarding than it often is. The authors present a unique collaboration-based program that they refer to as CoLAB, which was originally developed as a workshop on creating partnerships between people and organizations to meet community needs. The authors explain the origins, benefits, and logistics of running this workshop, which has been utilized often at the University of Florida and presented to about six hundred organizations and more than two thousand individuals.

CoLAB workshops typically host between 14 and 120 people and last from ninety minutes to a few days. During the workshop, pairs of people who don't know each other "speed-meet" in three- or four-minute sessions and discuss what they are passionate about, what they specialize in, and what their or their organization's immediate needs are. These workshops create face-to-face connections and enable collaboration and socializing aimed at creating innovation and sparking creativity.

Provided in the book are step-by-step instructions for various situations and groups. …

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