Knight Foundation: Convening Leaders around Library Innovation

Social Impact Strategy
About This Project


Facilitating Dialogue Amongst Library Leaders from Across the US

Knight Foundation is a national foundation that invests in fostering informed and engaged communities across the United States. Rooted in this mission is their long support for libraries. Knight believes that libraries play a vital role in supporting democratic and inclusive communities, and understands the important ways libraries must adapt to the changing needs of the 21st century. Each year, Knight holds a Convening of library leaders and those that support libraries from across the country to explore critical issues and opportunities facing libraries today. TYTHE was brought on board to plan a human-centered research-informed Convening for 2019 that could elicit diverse and meaningful dialogs.



TYTHE captured the wisdom of a diverse group of individuals to identify the most pressing issues, successful strategies, and exciting opportunities facing libraries. We interviewed the heads of libraries, academics, researchers, government staff, and library funders to find out what library systems of different scales, geographies, and contexts are confronting. Using this information, we crafted a theme and program for the Convening that reflected our research.





Robust Dialogues 

The Convening took place over two days and brought together 75 participants to address the question: how can we promote innovation in libraries to foster their strong futures as trusted public institutions? In lightning talks, panels, breakout sessions, and interactive activities, people questioned, debated, and inspired one another to move the needle on library innovation.


A Tool for Continuing the Conversation 

TYTHE captured all the insights shared during the Convening and summarized them into a report, which was shared to the participants to help them translate their Convening experience into their organizations’ work. The preliminary research and report has also become a key resource for Knight to understand and plan their investment in the future of libraries.

Client: Knight Foundation


Collaborators: Kristina Drury, Michaela Kramer


Year: 2019