Greensboro Public Library Learning Circles provide ways to connect with topics, community |
The concept of Learning Circles, based on the work of Peer 2 Peer University, grew out of a grassroots network of people who believe that knowledge should be freely shared and that learning is best done with others . Powered by a global community of dozens of libraries, thousands of volunteers, and a small core team, Peer 2 Peer University realizes this vision through circles of learning.
The local version of this project, funded by grants and in collaboration with the UNCG Department of Communication Studies, the National Communication Association Center for Communication, and Peer2Peer University, was designed to increase the library’s reach to underresourced community members and improve digital skills. At this point, 18 Greensboro Learning Circles have hosted 248 participants.
Ophelia Moore engaged in a four-week learning circle based on the selected writings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn. Moore said everyone in her Learning Circle came with an open mind and a willingness to actively share and listen.
“There is no teacher or student, so we all learn, share and grow our knowledge and ideas together through collaborative engagement in a non-judgmental environment,” Moore said.
Benjamin Public Library has held several learning circles and plans to schedule more. Court Duvall, Branch Manager, hosted a learning circle on the topic of self-testing and memoirs. Participants watched teaching videos on the topic, discussed the ideas in the video amongst themselves, then wrote short essays which they then shared in the circle. Duvall said the best part was the sharing that took place between the members of the learning circle.