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 support 18 Community Conversations with Veterans initiatives at 20 library locations across California. Library staff members will create community partnerships and engage veterans, their families, and the community.

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
  • Collaborate with at least one community partner
  • Plan 2 community programs that encourage conversation with veterans, their families, and 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

Toolkit and Resources

Start with the Community Conversations with Veterans TOOLKIT which includes programming and partnership ideas, community surveys, and an updated booklist. Collaborate with your community partner every step of the way.  Share your programming or title suggestions with us and we’ll add them to the toolkit!

Participating Libraries – 2020

Library Program Coordinator
Arcadia Public Library Pat Smith
Azusa City Library Leila Hassen
City of Commerce Public Library – Rosewood Olivia Audoma
Coronado Public Library Franklin Escobedo
Fresno County Public Library – Betty Rodriguez Regional Library James Tyner
Kern County Library – Beale Memorial Library Ashley Clay
Kern County Library – Ridgecrest Library Charissa Wagner
Mission Viejo Library Patrice Rand
OC Public Libraries – Garden Grove Main & Tustin Branches Cassandra Sargent
Oceanside Public Library – Civic Center & Mission Branch Monica Chapa Domercq
Sacramento Public Library – Rancho Cordova Katie Ball
San Jose Public Library – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Rosemary Van Lare
Santa Barbara Public Library – Central Library Jen Lemberger
Santa Maria Public Library Joanne Britton
Sonoma County Library – Cloverdale Regional Library Robert Parmenter
Tulare Public Library Carol Lovos
Ventura County Library – E.P. Foster Library Irma Morales
Whittier Public Library Rachel Fiore

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

#CommunityConversationsWithVeterans