Welcome to the Commons Social Change Library
The Commons Social Change Library is an online collection of educational resources on campaign strategy, community organising, digital campaigning, communications and media, working effectively in groups, fundraising, diversity and inclusion and much more.
We collect, curate and distribute the key lessons and resources of progressive movements around Australia and across the globe.
This online library is a space for education and learning. Our collections include videos, podcasts, manuals, case studies, articles, practical how-to guides, and training materials to inform and equip you to influence public policy and engage in political structures.
The Commons vision is an Australia that has well informed, skilled, collaborative and effective movements for social and ecological justice.
Our work includes:
- monitoring needs and emerging trends;
- encouraging people to share their knowledge with each other by contributing to the library’s collections;
- connecting people with the knowledge that will enrich their work; and
- amplifying existing capacity building endeavours.
The Commons is an Australian initiative with global inputs and ripples.
The Commons pays respects to the traditional owners of the land in which we operate and wherever this site is accessed. We recognise the central importance of struggles for Indigenous self-determination and justice within the broad project of creating a progressive future.
Why the Commons?
The name ‘the Commons’ references the common good, the shared property of all people. The Wikipedia entry on the commons states:
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit.
We view the collective intelligence of people as part of the commons so we gather and share the best thinking of people involved in social change to support future action.
Guided by this concept the Commons:
- Is free of cost to use and does not operate for profit
- Is equitable, inclusive and accessible
- Aims to be beneficial to many
- Reflects inputs from many
- Has a culture that celebrates cooperation and collaboration
Please note that all additions of materials to the Commons Library have been made with good will, with the intention of appropriate acknowledgement and respect for licenses. If you have any concerns about the inclusion or presentation of materials on the Commons please contact us to discuss.
For more information about the Commons Library Limited or any of our resources or projects, please contact a Librarian.
How the Commons can help your organisation be smarter and stronger
Does your organisation need a hand with information management, capacity building or research?
In addition to making our online public library available to all at no cost, the Commons Social Change Library can provide customised services to organisations at accessible rates.
The Commons librarians are available for consultancy and projects including:
- Sourcing and collating resource guides and training materials for staff and volunteers
- Putting together customised study guides for professional development of individual staff members or teams
- Curating book club materials including references, excerpts, and prompts for reflection and discussion
- Collating articles and presentations from forums, conferences and other events
- Archiving campaign material and organisational history
- Advising on information management including resource hubs and shared drives
- Research and writing of case studies
- Research into issues and trends relevant to campaigns and advocacy
If you would like to discuss these options, or have others ideas about how we could support the crucial work of your organisation, contact Holly Hammond, Director of the Commons.
About the Librarians
The Commons is staffed by a nimble part-time team made up of Holly Hammond, Antje Dun and Iain McIntyre.
Holly Hammond is the Commons Library Director. Holly brings over 25 years of social change experience to this role, with almost 15 of those years spent supporting movements to be more effective through training, facilitation and coaching. An important aspect of her work has been writing, sourcing, editing and distributing articles and educational resources. You’ll find several of Holly’s resources in the Plan to Win and Plan to Thrive collections on the Commons.
Antje Dun is a librarian with many years of experience managing collections. Antje is also a graphic designer so she’s responsible for the consistent Commons style here and on social media. Iain McIntyre is a social movement historian, academic, author of a number of books and contributor of the How To Make Trouble & Influence People collection on the Commons.
Holly Hammond developed this latest iteration of the Commons in collaboration with Antje Dun, Iain McIntyre, Aurora Adams, and India Prior, building on the work of former Commons librarians. The website has been developed by Glenn Todd from Dvize.
We appreciate all of the contributors who are filling the Commons Library virtual shelves, including collections from Mobilisation Lab, the Change Agency, Australian Progress, OPEN, ChangeMakers, Original Power, Plan to Win, Plan to Thrive, and many more.
Donate to the Commons
The Commons Library Limited is raising funds to support the ongoing sustainability and expansion of this crucial progressive infrastructure.
Make a tax deductible donation now via our secure form or by direct deposit or mail.
For our 2020 project to raise the profile of the Commons Library we appreciate the support of the Alf & Meg Steel Fund, a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation.
If you would like to discuss a potential project or have any queries about donation please contact us.
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The Commons is committed to being accessible to the breadth of the Australian public and beyond. We aim to overcome barriers to access including those related to ability, education levels, language, income, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and any other oppression or systemic disadvantage.
Please note the Commons is reviewing our website and email newsletter in line with the recommendations in our article Improving Your Website Accessibility. We recognise that we have a number of improvements to make. If you have feedback, questions or require resources in a different format contact us via the contact form or email directly librarians(at)commonslibrary.org and we’ll do our best to assist.