Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date July 7, 2016
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

If you want to attract Latino and Spanish-speaking families to your library, the instinct is to launch a bilingual or Spanish-language storytime. It’s the “if we build it, they will come” logic for attracting community members who are not being served by the library. Libraries may be disappointed to discover that it doesn’t necessarily work that way. In this webinar, recognize the critical role that outreach plays in bridging the gap between Latino and Spanish-speaking families and library services. Hear real-world examples of outreach strategies from librarians who successfully connected with their Latino and Spanish-speaking communities, and learn a basic outreach process that you can adapt for your own community.

Presented by: Katie Scherrer and Lauren Simon

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date November 1, 2017
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

In the United States, 1 in every 8 people face hunger. Food insecurity affects 42 million people and impacts every county in America, and libraries are increasingly involved in helping to fight hunger in their communities. Join us to hear how Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief network, a food bank, and a public library, are all helping to fight hunger. Learn how to assess food security and needs in your area and how to grow community awareness and understanding about hunger through programming or resources. Providing meals can become a key component of library programming, even serving as an incentive for families and children to attend. Explore a range of opportunities to address community hunger needs year-round, and learn how to reach out and engage with local food banks to connect patrons to food.

Presented by: Christina Martinez, Kaia Keefe-Oates, and Elizabeth Lynch

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date January 15, 2013
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

What does an ice cream sundae have to do with library partnerships? Let's pretend that your community organizations (school, academic, public and special libraries, and other local organizations) are your favorite kind of ice cream. Now let's ladle your favorite toppings over the ice cream to represent the organizations resources, programs, personnel and funding. How can the ice cream "mix" with the toppings to be the most luscious dessert possible for the most people? When community organizations collaborate to share their resources with one another, they make the biggest possible impact on the most lives. Learn easy, understandable and powerful strategies that will give you renewed energy to create bold and imaginative collaborations among all types of community organizations.

Presented by: Kathy Jacobs

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 18, 2017
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

To "choose civility" means to celebrate diversity and choose respect, compassion, empathy, and inclusiveness when interacting with others. Civility is the healing power we need to counteract the divisive, fragmented forces that seem to be undermining our social fabric. Since 2006, Howard County Library System (MD) has been leading the way toward community connectedness with their Choose Civility initiative. They, along with library systems across the country, invite you to join the movement to nurture civility in your own community. Learn how kindness creates communities, how to challenge stereotypes effectively, and cultivate random acts of civility. Find opportunities to implement Choose Civility to enhance internal and external customer service, develop partnerships and community support, and create a more connected community of people who will #choose2Bkind. Let’s see civility go viral in 2017.

Presented by: Valerie Gross, Christie Lassen and Sonya Durney

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date March 20, 2014
Hosted by: WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries
Length: 1 hour

Are you looking for fresh ways to connect your library with your community? Find out how these Nebraska libraries moved beyond traditional partnerships by uncovering shared commitment to community needs with new partners, especially local businesses. These new connections led to programming and events that promote health, literacy and entertainment for the whole community. The efforts extend the library's marketing reach, build library support, and strengthen community relationships all at little or no cost.

Presented by: Becky Baker, Scott Childers, and Lisa Olivigni

Self Paced CourseFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed with: Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Length: 1 hour

The library of the 21st Century is considered an essential part of its community. With that in mind the director and staff need to "get out of the stacks and into the streets!" Being involved in organizations and activities outside of the library provides a unique perspective to both staff and trustees in regard to the culture and needs of the community.

Community engagement, while it may have a different meaning depending upon your role in the library, is reaching outside of the physical library building, meeting people in the community and listening to them. There are many roles to play and you can monitor your level of involvement based on your capacity. Community engagement activities provide an opportunity to offer the library as a solution to issues, or at least as a potential partner to help tackle issues. This can be accomplished through building relationships and sharing ideas and library resources, whether that is space, staff or other assets to accomplish a common goal.

Course Design: Produced through the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) Continuing Education Connector project.

This course is currently unavailable for enrollment.

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date February 5, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries
Length: 1 hour

Making connections and being an active part of the community you serve is especially important in small and rural libraries. It makes your library more visible and also enhances the quality of life in the community. Learn how a rural library director transformed library services over one summer, by getting out and growing awareness in the community. With the help of two enthusiastic staff, one simple idea grew into so much more. We will explore different ways to engage your community, spark young readers, and build relationships with families. Hear tips, tools, and personal stories about how the library implemented outreach services and created ways to positively impact the entire community! Learn how to make "librarian" not only your job title, but what you actively do.

Presented by: Lori Juhlin

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date February 6, 2018
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

For too many children and teens, summer is a time of hunger and learning loss. Libraries offer the perfect environment to combat childhood hunger and obesity while preventing summer learning loss by offering free, healthy lunch to kids through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. In California, Lunch at the Library was developed to provide tailored support to library staff, offering tools to develop successful public library summer meal programs that draw new families to the library, foster community partnerships, and engage families with learning and enrichment opportunities while school is out. Join us for this webinar to learn about the tools and practical tips for starting or expanding a USDA summer meals site and incorporating lunches into your summer reading program. Even if you’ve been offering summer lunches for years, you’ll come away inspired and ready to plan.

Presented by: Trish Garone, Patrice Chamberlain, and Jasmin LoBasso

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date March 2014
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Developed and funded by Redbox, and managed by OCLC in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, Outside the Box is an innovative program that brings people together for free, fun entertainment events in their local community. When people connect, communities benefit--and as trusted community anchors, public libraries are central to Outside the Box efforts.


  • Part 1: What is placemaking?
  • Part 2: Turning your event into a great place experience
  • Part 3: How to conduct a community brainstorming session


  • Identify a space near the library, on the library grounds, or in the community that can be used for ongoing public entertainment events
  • Lead a community brainstorming or planning session on event/place design
  • Identify at least three new community partners and an action plan for engaging with them
  • Develop a list of reusable materials and features that can be used in the community space, to create a welcoming, comfortable environment (seating, tables, surface cover, shading, lighting, etc.)

Presented by: Elena Madison

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date September 15, 2016
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Economic development and job opportunities are concerns in most communities, and thriving small businesses are important to ensuring a community's economic health. Join the Small Business Information Center (SBIC) Librarian from the Cecil County Public Library (CCPL) to learn how your library can be a part of the formula for building and supporting a stronger local economy. You'll learn how CCPL has developed the SBIC since its inception in 2003, growing from a shelf of books to a personalized service, with examples and lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Find out how your library can be an excellent resource for aspiring and experienced business owners. This session will cover the basics of collection development, classes, marketing, partnerships and more. Hear how libraries are not only helping launch small businesses, but as these businesses continue to thrive, they are able to give back to the community.

Presented by: Laura Metzler

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 21, 2015
Hosted by: WebJunction and TechSoup
Length: 1 hour

Every day, patrons enter libraries around the country with questions about health, housing, employment, counseling and other essential human services. And libraries are there to make these crucial connections for them. Many libraries are now exploring ways to expand their role as connector to community social services through resources such as webpages, mobile apps, and databases. These services might refer somebody to a free meal, legal assistance, support groups, and much more. Join us to hear examples of how referral services and resources have augmented the social services connections that contribute to community vitality.

Presented by:  Suzanne Moore, Diane Adams,and Jasmine Africawala