Strengthening Our Democratic Values: NYPL's Three Pillars
The majority of Americans today believe our democracy is facing serious challenges. But 67% want to increase their civic responsibility—and NYPL, as a nonpartisan and trusted institution, is uniquely positioned to encourage participation in our society, through an engagement strategy focused on three pillars.
• Foster civic knowledge by creating opportunities to learn about civic privileges and responsibilities while developing critical analysis skills.
• Nurture civic attitudes by fostering broader community-mindedness, support for civic life, and trust in public institutions.
• Encourage civic behavior by providing opportunities to participate in discourse and meaningfully engage with other community members.
The New York Public Library’s Teen Civics Ambassadors program offers internships to teens to help develop job readiness and leadership skills, with a focus on library resources, civics, and peer-to-peer engagement.
Get paid to create fun, exciting events and resources at the Library for other teens, and encourage your peers to learn about and become active participants in your communities.
Community Building: Stronger Together
Our interactive and creative programs around civics foster social connections and community building through shared experiences including readings, performances, and conversations. Programs such as book discussions, author talks, and art workshops enrich civic life by creating spaces for New Yorkers to gather, create, and explore their connections to one another and their communities.
Collections Engagement: Bringing History to Life
NYPL leverages our vast collections to support examination of our civic history, understanding of the ongoing evolution of our democracy, and the practice of critical thinking skills necessary for civic participation.
Civic Responsibility: Doing Your Part
NYPL offers an array of signature programs, resources, and opportunities that promote civic responsibility and provide citizenship support. Programs include citizenship study groups and preparation classes, as well as practical civic skill-building opportunities to empower all our patrons to be critical thinkers, engage in community dialogue, and confidently participate in our democracy.
Youth Empowerment & Activism: New Leaders
Our programs for teens and young adults are approached through a lens of activism and empowerment that promotes leadership, critical thinking skills, opportunities for creative expression, and confidence in community organizing and advocacy efforts. Young adults can participate in interactive programs and workshops, internships, and collaborations with local government to make an impact in their communities.
Voter Education: Your Voice Matters
The Library’s voter education programs include workshops, panel discussions, and lectures focused on providing critical information such as how elections work, ranked choice voting, and the role of elected officials. Programs provide information on key community issues and topics that reflect the diverse needs and interests of NYC communities from older adult populations, to young adults, to Latinx communities.
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Volunteer at NYPL
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