What is On the Table and why should I participate? +

On the Table is an exciting, region-wide initiative to explore the ways in which we have the power to collaborate in order to make our communities stronger, safer, and more dynamic.

On the Table allows community members to come together, collaborate more, and to become more involved and more committed to our community. While we know that there’s no “quick fix” to the issues facing the Lowcountry, progress will result from residents and organizations listening to each other and working together to create changes that will add up to help unite the place we call home.

What you do matters – and when we come together as a community to learn from and with each other, we have the power affect both neighborhoods and lives. That’s what On the Table is all about.

How can I get involved? +

Right now, we’re in the process of recruiting hosts from across the Lowcountry to be part of On the Table on October 4th, 2018. To be included in our pool of potential hosts for the Fall, simply click on the "Contact" tab, send us a message, and we will keep you informed about our progress. If you want to be a host, click on the "Register To Host" tab to sign up (and thanks!).

What is The Library Foundation of the Lowcountry? +

The Library Foundation of the Lowcountry provides funding for extraordinary projects and programs of Lowcountry libraries that are not funded by local governments. The Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization that seeks to engage donors and the community in shaping and supporting libraries in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley Counties. It is hosting On The Table to better understand what are the needs of our communities and how they might be addressed. The Library Foundation will make available to everyone the results of the On The Table discussions as a service to the community.

What does a host need to do? What's involved? +

It’s really pretty simple: You determine a location for folks to meet on October 4th, 2018 for a mealtime conversation to discuss the ways in which we can commit to making our communities stronger, safer, and more dynamic – communities where opportunities grow, quality of life is enhanced, and families thrive. You can have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in-between time snack wherever you want and serve whatever you like – from a meal in a restaurant or home-cooked meal at home to a picnic, barbecue, coffee break, or a soup-and-salad meal.

Who do I invite? +

The invite list is up to you. If you’re unsure, start with people you know – friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. You may consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local restaurant. Consider asking your guests to bring a friend, or invite people from your network that don’t already know each other.

Eight-to-twelve guests per table is ideal. On the Table is about giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard. If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each table to discuss and report out to the larger group.

What should an On the Table gathering look like? +

Hosts are encouraged to be creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation – a potluck in your dining room, a picnic in a nearby park, a gathering at a neighborhood restaurant, or a backyard barbecue are just some of the many possibilities.

What is expected of me during and after my On the Table gathering is over? +

We look forward to hearing about the stories and commitments discussed at your gathering. We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day, using #OnTheTableSC.

At the conclusion of the On the Table discussion we’ll send every participant (hosts and guests) a short e-mail survey to learn more about their experiences and their commitments. You may also be asked to participate in a more in-depth post-event interview, where we hope to dive even deeper into some of the experiences, insights, and thoughts that arose from these conversations.

All On the Table participants can ask to receive an electronic copy of the summary report detailing the impact and outcomes of this initiative. Printed copies will also be available. Should you care to be included, you will also be invited to future civic engagement programs, initiatives, and events sponsored by the Library Foundation.