NCoC has highlighted a leadership brief from the Urban Libraries Council which describes the potential of libraries for promoting civic engagement, particularly in cities:
The civic health of our communities is multi-dimensional and involves many facets of engagement from political participation, to how we engage with associations and institutions, to how we’re connecting to our neighbors, friends and family. Libraries serve as critical resources for advancing these many forms of engagement, by providing trusted and inclusive spaces for convening, education, dialogue and action planning.
The brief states “Public libraries, with their sustained stature as the most trusted government entity, are ideal resources to shape and lead discussions, decisions, and strategies that encourage active and purposeful civic engagement.”
The brief also suggests that this potential has not been fully tapped. You can read more about the study here, and you can download the brief here.