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Together at the Table

Skokie Public Library

Contact Name: Amy Koester,
Type of Initiative: Civil Society 


Together at the Table was a multigenerational event for MLK Day 2017 in conjunction with our Civic Lab, which pops up around the library with information and thought-provoking activities to support dialogue and engagement on issues that affect our community. The program, which spanned the afternoon and evening, saw 111 participants of every age group come to the room; be seated and introduced to their tablemates by a high school volunteer; and enjoy a muffin while diving into conversations with their community members. Questions from “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love” were on the tables to get chatter started, and attendees jumped whole-heartedly into honest conversations with one another. We saw many attendees who had come to the program as strangers leave with new connections—from a woman with a dream to have an auto repair garage connecting with a real estate professional; to two new adult men exchanging contact info to meet up again; and a new immigrant to the U.S. making plans to volunteer at the library where he said he already felt welcome. There were requests from participating patrons and staff to repeat this program again in the future, as they thought the conversation and compassion for one’s neighbors were something the community could use more of.