It’s never been more important to talk to each other about tough problems.

Although currently we cannot meet around a boardroom table, we can still come together through videoconferencing with a Zoom meeting to practice deliberation, speaking face-to-face from our own homes and offices.

Practice listening with empathy and respect, considering other perspectives, and weighing the trade-offs of possible actions in a National Issues Forum hosted by the library. The Deliberative Conversations throughout 2020 will focus on the Hidden Common Ground initiative.

Plan to Attend

Once you choose which conversation to attend, please email so that you can receive the link to the online Zoom meeting. Consider inviting someone to join you in deliberative conversation, especially someone with a different perspective, life experience or background than you.

2020 Deliberative Conversations

Our Health Care System

Download the Health Care: How Can We Bring Costs Down While Getting the Care We Need? issue guide from National Issues Forum.

The Division in Our Country

Download the A House Divided issue guide from National Issues Forum.

Our Economy

Please check back for updates and for online face-to-face video forums to be announced for this important topic.

Notes from the 2019 Deliberative Conversations

Safety and Justice

How should communities reduce violence?

Notes from October 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Safety and Justice

Mental Illness in America

How do we address a growing mental health problem?

A House Divided

What would we have to give up to get the political system we want?

Obesity in America

How should we reduce obesity in America?

Notes from November 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Obesity in America

Alcohol and Drug Use

What should we do when alcohol and drug use become a problem to society?


How does a deliberative conversation work?

Between 12-20 people with a variety of perspectives will follow a National Issues Forum guide to discuss an issue. Each conversation will address an issue that doesn’t have one perfect answer. Please email or call 785-580-4629 for more information.

What happens after a deliberative forum?

Everyone is asked to continue learning and understanding the issue, to ask better questions, and to look both more broadly and more deeply at possible actions to address the big issues communities face while considering the tradeoffs to those actions.