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This report has been prepared for the Omaha (Nebraska) Public Library (OPL) with primary funding through a grant provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services [IMLS]. OPL subsequently contracted with the Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR), College of Public Affairs and Community Services, University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to provide evaluation training for project staff and to conduct the program evaluation study.

The major OPL and IMLS goals and objectives in funding and undertaking this initiative are:

1. To explore and examine the dimensions and components of community-engagement (CE) as a new, core-library function and service-provision strategy in the 21st century.

2. To create and strengthen CE and facilitation capacities among staff and organizational partners.

3. To develop a collaborative-culture model of CE activities and practice tools that will be useful for all libraries and community/organizational personnel.

This evaluation study and report present an overview of the OPL community-engagement initiative, the major research findings and program recommendations. We hope that this information will be valuable for professional library practitioners and staff, especially those who may be interested in replicating or pursuing similar initiatives elsewhere. More broadly, the information and analyses provided are likewise intended to be useful to public policy-makers and stakeholders, individual citizens, community-groups, future researchers and anyone interested in the issues of better access, dissemination and use of all forms of information in the future.