Pathways to Belonging: Contribution Assessment

Primary author: Eli Guinnee

Feeling as though we belong, as though we are home in a space or in a group, allows us to act toward goals for ourselves and the community at large.

What is in this tool?

The following is designed to help you assess how, first (a) your community and then (b) your library facilitate belonging by building pathways for people to meaningfully contribute.

Our research showed main pathways to belonging evidenced in communities: delight, feeling seen, connection, and contribution.

The most significant finding we can share is that anything worth building in your community through your library will be built in small, repeated steps over time using your heart and soul, in partnership with the people and environment which surround you.

LISTEN: “And in fact many newcomers come here to meet people, yes””And they volunteer and they volunteer” “And then some of those then become members of our board. And yeah it’s a way that a lot of new people come in to. You know it’s—a library is a safe place.” Sabra (with trustees), interview #7-3-02a

Further Resources

If you haven’t already done so, review “Awakening to Community Potential” to help illuminate your own place in creating pathways with the resources specific to your location, and review Creating Community-Building Events for a discussion on programs that bring the community together. 

Have you read Pathways to Wellbeing: Summary of Findings to better understand some of the dynamics?

Want to go even deeper?  See the Community Engagement Guide.