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James Madison University Libraries established JMuse Café in the Fall of 2011 to provide an informal and lively forum for students, faculty, staff and the Harrisonburg Community to explore together topics of public interest. JMuse Café is designed after two concepts: a model of social knowledge sharing in scholarly cafes and the model of expert knowledge sharing that has long been the purview of libraries and academia. The result is a bold initiative that engages diverse participants across the community in robust conversations about important matters.

JMuse Café events promote participation of all attendees and embrace innovative and standard formats to support learning, sharing and questioning. Typically, our cafés emphasize discussion over lecture, and identification of issues and pathways over definitive conclusions. Programs begin with an open buffet, then feature brief presentations by invited experts who act as conversation catalysts. Both larger and small group conversations follow and the meeting concludes with reports from, and among the subgroups. The Café discussions continue on this site and in public posts in the Carrier Library Learning Commons.

In choosing café topics we aim for each attendee to leave an event (1) having heard thoughtful views from the guest speakers and fellow attendees, (2) with a clearer conception of the issues involved, and (3) with an appetite for further inquiry and reflection.

Kathy Clarke
Kathy is the First Year Librarian for JMU Libraries.

Erin Stevenson
Erin is the Resource Access Specialist for JMU Libraries.

Ryan Winfree
Ryan is the Events & Exhibits Assistant for JMU Libraries.  He received his B.S. in Communications and Public Relations from JMU.

Kerry Scannell
Kerry is the Outreach Coordinator for JMU Libraries.

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