Interaction with strangers cultivates creativity and provides opportunities for joining forces to achieve great ends. However most people tend to avoid talking or working with people they do not know, whether in the library, a classroom, or in academic and nonprofit settings. And to do so is to short-circuit much of the creative potential that is so necessary for innovation, and that organizational stakeholders crave. Enter CoLAB. Developed and presented by de Farber at workshops across the country, and used by the authors to successfully spur collaboration at the University of Florida (including faculty-librarian, librarian-librarian, librarian-student, faculty-faculty, student-student, and student-librarian-community member), it showcases the power of face-to-face conversations. Leading readers through a unique framework that breaks down barriers to collaboration while also kindling long-lasting enthusiasm, this manual includes:testimonials from workshop participants that demonstrate the benefits of a Collaborating with Strangers workshop;step by step guidance on every aspect of organizing and presenting a CoLAB workshop;helpful photographs and diagrams that show prep and workshops in action;ready to use surveys for assessment before and after the workshop;grant proposal development techniques for bringing two or more organizations together on a project;pointers on how to adapt the workshop for ice-breakers, conference programs, or classrooms; andsamples of workshop promotion pieces that can be adapted as needed.Libraries have always connected patrons to resources and information; this resource shows how, through successful group collaboration, organizations can extend that connection to include the talents and assets of community members.
Bess G. de Farber, a nonprofit management specialist, is the grants manager for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries and served in the same capacity at University of Arizona Libraries. Author of Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Practical Guide for Librarians, she has provided grantsmanship instruction throughout the past 28 years and has led efforts to secure millions in grant funding for nonprofits and academic libraries. Her research interest is asset-based collaboration development. As president of ASK Associates and a certified professional facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators, she created the CoLAB Planning Series, group processes serving thousands of individuals and their organizations to find new collaborative partnerships.April Hines is the journalism and mass communications librarian for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. Her research areas include inquiry-based information literacy instruction, face-to-face facilitative processes, library marketing and outreach, and social media engagement. She has presented and published on such topics as academic librarians and personal branding, using ethnic newspapers to reach underserved communities, and developing a library student ambassador program. She has participated on several grant projects and leads the Collaborating with Strangers In and Outside Mass Communications project sponsored by Procter & Gamble.Barbara J. Hood is the director of communications for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. She promotes the libraries for academic, library, and general public communities at local, state, national, and international levels. She has coordinated and photographed many hundreds of library events for donors, the campus, and the local community. She has participated on several grant-awarded project teams, most notably the Institute for Museum and Library Services' National Leadership Grants project "The Panama Canal-Preserving a Legacy, Celebrating a Centennial, Leveraging an Extraordinary Human Achievement."