Co-Developing CLIA

Our Process of Co-Development

CLIA (Community-Library Inter-Action) is a collaborative project to develop a guide for building and promoting CLIA processes. It builds on the experience of the Mortenson Center developing librarians worldwide, including its Libraries for Peace initiative, and the international expertise of the Take Part Research Cluster in community-based research, including the Take Part Learning Framework for Active Citizenship Learning.

Making community-library collaboration our core strategy for designing the CLIA guide, throughout the months of May and June 2017 the CLIA project held two Co-Development laboratories with librarians and community members in the United States and in Colombia.

The Illinois Lab, May 4th and 5th 2017, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Main Library:

The CLIA Illinois Lab was attended by participants from academic and public libraries, including library administration, staff, and volunteers, as well as by community representatives. Participants came organizations and social sectors as UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship, Tap In Leadership Academy, University of Illinois Library, Champaign Park District Foundation, African Library Leader and PhD Students, Baltimore Public Library, Oak Park Public Library, Center for Digital Inclusion – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Throughout two days, we shared the project’s mission, had presentations about community work in the US and in UK, and discussed about the nature and challenges of community-library transformation, the potentiality of libraries as community anchors, and the need to promote community conversations that can evolve into social transformation.

The participants to the Illinois Lab also shared some of their own current community projects, and found ways to improve them and make them more community-led and more systematic towards social transformation. These revised cases will be published alongside the CLIA guide.

The Colombia Lab, June 21st and 22nd 2017, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá – Colombia:

A few days after all arms were surrendered by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in Spanish)  to the United Nations, under a  peace agreement signed in December 2016, librarians from the National Network of Public Libraries and the National Network of Libraries of the Republic Bank met to co-develop the Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) Guide.

After a two-day Lab held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 4-5th, a second Lab on June 21st-22nd in Bogotá, Colombia, in partnership with the two major national library systems in that country, to co-develop the CLIA guide and to promote library processes that advance peace in Colombia. The Colombia Lab was attended by 39 participants including library administration, library staff, volunteers, community organization representatives such as an indigenous community. About half of these participants came from diverse cities and townships, including regions affected more directly by Colombia’s military conflict. In this event, librarians and community members gave feedback about the process held in Illinois, shared their experience, and made contributions to achieve a more inclusive and effective processes.  After each Lab, all participants are engaged in continuing in dialogue with the CLIA project, and to begin new library processes to further peace from community support and organization.

Participants who attended to the CLIA lab in Colombia may contribute their own CLIA processes as part of the CLIA guide and for publication at the end of the CLIA project.


1. About CLIA : Co-developing CLIA
2. Activities
3. Current Projects: CLIA-Iberoamérica | CLIA Colombia-Universidades
4. CLIA Resources