Submitted by Aude McDermott

On November 8, 2012, the Public Libraries Section hosted an event entitled “Outreach 101” at the Atwater Library and Computer Centre.  Three guest speakers presented on their views on outreach and shared their experiences. The speakers were:  Donna Lach, Programming and Outreach Librarian at Westmount Public Library, Penny Fransblow, Head of the Norman Berman Children’s Library at the Jewish Public Library, and Eric Craven, Digital Literacy and Fostering Information Society projects coordinator at Atwater Library and Computer Centre.

Donna discussed how outreach starts within the library, connecting with staff, volunteers and patrons. She also talked about discovering your inner sleuth and how this helped her in organising various events and programs. Penny explained how outreach can be as simple as offering a warm welcome to children and parents coming to the library. She discussed the importance of connecting with the community and getting to know your patrons in order to offer relevant programs and services.  Eric shared his views on how librarians are agents of various literacies. He described some of the projects in the area of digital literacy that he is working on in collaboration with numerous community groups and organizations.

Feedback from the attendees was very positive. We would like to thank all of our speakers for their presentations and the Atwater Library and Computer Centre for providing the venue for the event.