Connecting the Dots with Children and Families: The Principles and Realities of Community-Based Work in (and out of) Libraries


Community-led programming can be an incredibly powerful way to connect with vulnerable communities. But how do you actually do it? There are lots of templates for leading a toddler storytime or starting a kids’ book club, but few nuts-and-bolts resources available about community-led programming, and no one right way to implement it.
In this panel session, we’ll talk with library staff who are building relationships and doing community-based work with children and families in a variety of settings. We’ll explore different models for community-led programming, discuss the barriers that can make this work challenging to initiate and sustain, and hear about the rewards that make it meaningful. Audience participation is encouraged; please bring your questions and your own stories so that we can support and inspire each other in this important, exciting work.
Handout with panel participant contact information and links is attached and is also reproduced below:
Connecting the Dots with Children and Families:
The Principles and Realities of Community-Based Work in (and out of) Libraries
Children and Teen Services (CATS) Conference
Kelowna, BC
October 7, 2019
Session Participants:
Facilitator: Els Kushner, Vancouver Public Library



VPL’s guidebook for staff doing community-based or community-led work. Includes numerous honest real-life examples of successes, challenges, roadblocks, and stumbles, as well as tools and resources for dealing with such.

Notes and links stemming from a BCLA Conference session on SRC programs serving First Nations communities, a panel discussion which included two of today’s panelists, Ruth Cooper and Beth Dimond. Includes excellent resources relevant for wishing to build stronger community connections.

Includes links to a comprehensive Community-Led Toolkit; a shorter Community-Led Service Guide for staff; and a page on Top Five Barriers to Library Access and Recommendations for Eliminating those Barriers

An in-depth examination of the barriers that can keep  low-income and marginalized people and communities from accessing library services and resources, the ways in which library culture often exacerbates these barriers, and some methods for identifying and addressing those barriers, based on the work of the Working Together Project starting in 2004.


Els Kushner

Author E-Mail

Conference Year

Source Library