From Problems to Possibilities: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Create Positive Change

Libraries operate in environments of constant and unpredictable change. It can sometimes seem that we are spending all of our time putting out fires rather than igniting positive change. How do we re-frame problems into possibilities? Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based method for change that focuses on discovering the best in our organizations, and then determining how to create more of it. This session will introduce Appreciative Inquiry, and how it can be applied in libraries. We will practice the art of “re-framing” problems to possibilities and creating generative questions to “discover” what is giving life to our libraries so we can foster better communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

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Oct 21 2023


3:45 pm - 4:45 pm




  • Andrew Whitis
    Andrew Whitis
    Strategist & Director of Financial Operations, OhioNet

    Andrew Whitis is a Strategist and the Director of Financial Operations at OhioNet. He has over 18 years of experience working in and with libraries, including 13 years as library director at two Ohio private academic libraries. Prior to entering librarianship, Andrew worked in knowledge management and business development at Deloitte. Andrew holds a BS in Agriculture from Ohio State University, a Master of Library and Information Science from University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Business Administration from Defiance College. Andrew completed Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner Certification through the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at Champlain College. He is a Certified Practitioner of Human-Centered Design from the LUMA Institute and has certification in Purpose Driven Innovation form TrendWatching. Andrew is an active member of the American Evaluation Association.

  • Michelle H. Bradley
    Michelle H. Bradley
    Director of Consulting Services, OhioNet

    Michelle Bradley is the Director of Consulting Services at OhioNet. Michelle believes in Appreciative Inquiry to create positive and transformational change in people and organizations. After spending over 20 years in public library administration and management “in the trenches” she is passionate about helping organizations engage with their stakeholders, increase collaboration and partnerships, discover their strengths, imagine their futures, design positive strategies for success, and improve their workplace cultures. Michelle is a certified Conversations Worth Having Trainer as well as a certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator. She holds a Certificate in Creating Positive Change from the Change Lab, as well as a Certificate in Creating Wellbeing and PERMAH Survey Accreditation from the Wellbeing Lab, and is a Certified Practitioner and Facilitator of Human Centered Design from LUMA. She holds a Master of Library Science from Indiana University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Indiana University, and a B.A. in Advertising from Purdue University.