Community Conversations with Veterans

Community Conversations with Veterans is a partnership between California Center for the Book and Veterans Connect @ the Library. The initiative offers California libraries the opportunity to connect more closely with veterans and their families, while also helping veterans and their families connect to the community and resources.

Program Overview

In 2020, California Center for the Book will fund 20 Community Conversations with Veterans initiatives at libraries across California. Library staff members interested in creating community partnerships and engaging with veterans, their families, and the community should apply in Summer 2019 to join us. Libraries who currently provide, or plan to provide, Veterans Resource Centers are given preference in the application.

Participating libraries will receive from California Center for the Book:

  • A collection of veterans-related titles to use as programming inspiration ($1,000 value)
  • $500 in speaker/moderator funds paid directly to one entity (nonprofit, community partner, speaker, moderator)
  • Documentary DVD with library license, discussion guide, and press kit

Participating libraries agree to:

  • Attend the in-person Orientation (see below)
  • Collaborate with at least one community partner
  • Plan two community programs that encourage conversation with veterans, their families, and/or the greater community (these programs may also count for programming requirements for Veterans Connect @ the Library)
  • Ensure community surveys, program data, and final reporting are completed
  • Actively share best practices with fellow librarians and program staff

Program Timeline 2019/2020

  • July 23, 2019 – Applications available (See Planning Document)
  • August 15, 2019 – Applications due
  • August 23, 2019 – Program notifications made
  • October 24, 2019, 9:00AM – 12:00PM – Community Conversations with Veterans Orientation CLA Pre-Conference Session (travel support available, pre-conference sessions are free)
  • January 2020 – June 2020  – Programs take place
  • July 15, 2020  – Community Conversations with Veterans Library Report Due / Community Surveys Due

Program Toolkit and Resources

Start with the Community Conversations with Veterans Toolkit which includes programming and partnership ideas, and an updated booklist. Collaborate with your community partner every step of the way. Review the Program Ideas and Resources (which includes Mission Critical: Your Programming Duffel Bag ) from Veterans Connect @ the Library. Share your programming or title suggestions with us and we’ll add them to the toolkit!

IMLS and Statewide Aligned Program Goals & Outcomes

  • Outcome 2b: Californians discover and participate in learning opportunities at the library
  • Outcome 3c: Californians connect and collaborate through their library

Sharing on Social Media

  • Follow and tag @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook on Facebook and Instagram
  • Use the hashtag #CommunityConversationsWithVeterans
  • Librarians, join the CCFB Librarians group on Facebook and like the public California Center for the Book page