Content updated 2016
Links updated October 15, 2018

Community-Led Work in Practice: Experiences from Canadian libraries

A series of papers written by members of the former CLA Community-Led Library Service Network exploring aspects of community-led work 

Toolkits, Guidebooks & Resources from Canadian Public Libraries and Library Organizations

Edmonton Public Library. (revised 2017). Community-Led Handbook. Retrieved from

Edmonton Public Library. (revised 2017).  Community-Led Service Philosophy Toolkit. Retrieved from

Ontario Library Association’s Open Shelf online magazine includes a regular column by John Pateman called Open for All?

Working Together Project. (2008). Community-Led Libraries Toolkit. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Retrieved from

Books & Articles

Bird, Amanda and Pilar Martinez. (2013). Ensuring that Public Library Strategic Planning (and Thinking) is Community Led. Feliciter 59(6), 19-20. Also available from

Bird, Amanda and Anne Olsen (2013). Introducing Community-Led Work. Feliciter 59(1), 10-11. Also available from

Campbell, Brian. “’In’ vs. ‘With’ the Community: Using a Community Approach to Public Library Services,” Information for Social Change. 22, Winter 2005/2006:Retrieved from

DeFaveri, Annette. (2005). Breaking Barriers: Libraries and Socially Excluded Communities. Information for Social Change. 21. Retreived from

DeFaveri, Annette. (2006). Culture of Comfort. Information for Social Change. 22. Retrieved from

Frank, Flo, and Anne Smith. (2010). The Community Development Handbook. 1999. Human Resources Development Canada, Ottawa. Retreived from

Hicken, Mandy.(2004).  To Each According to his Needs:  Public Libraries and Socially Excluded People.  Health Information and Libraries Journal, 21(2).

Gehner, John. (2010) Libraries, low-income people and social exclusion.  Public Library Quarterly, 29:39-47.

Kushner, Els (2013). “Go Out There and Fail” : A Personal Account of Community-Led Work with the Early Years. Feliciter 59(4), 8-10. Also available from

Lukasik, Laura (2013). Leveraging Partnerships in a  Community-Led Library Model. Feliciter 59(3), 11-12. Also available from

Martinez, Pilar, Williment, Kenneth. (2012). Canadian Libraries: Innovating and Creating Innovative Services. Bis. Retrieved from

Middleton, Sophie and Sadie Tucker. (2013). Developing Community-Led Training: Putting Principles into Practice. Feliciter 59(2), 10-11. Also available from

Muddiman, D., Durrani, S., Dutch, M., Linley, R., Pateman, J., & Vincent, J. (2000).  “Open to All? : The Public Library and Social Exclusion.” London: Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. Retrieved from

Muzzerall,Darla et al. (2005). Community Development Librarians: Starting Out. Feliciter 51(6), 265–67.

Pateman, John. (2003). Developing a needs-based library service. NIACE lifelines in adult learning: 13. Leicester: NIACE.

Pateman, John. (2007). Developing a Needs-based Library Service. Information for Social Change 26: 8-28. Retreived from

Pateman, John and Vincent, John. (2010). Public Libraries and Social Justice. Farnham: Ashgate.

Pateman, John  and Williment, Ken.  (2013). Developing Community-led Public Libraries: Evidence from the UK and Canada. Farnham: Ashgate.

Singh, Sandra. (2010) Librarians as Information Providers and Facilitators: The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as a Model for the Expansion of the Role of Academic Libraries in University-Community Engagement.  “One Road In, Many Roads Out; Education as a Catalyst for Regeneration Conference”, University of Limerick.

Singh, Sandra, Campbell, Brian and DeFaveri, Annette. (2008). Toward an Inclusive Library Service: The Working Together National Demonstration Project, in Reaching Out: Innovation in Canadian Libraries. Laval, Quebec: Presses de l’Université Laval.

Surette, Soleil (2013). The Challenge of Evaluating Communnity-Led Word. Feliciter 59(5) 13-14. Also available from

The Network. Information Resources. (2010). Found at

Urban Libraries Council. (2005). The Engaged Library: Chicago Stories of Community Building. Retrieved from

Williment, Ken. (2009). It takes a community to create a library”. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 4(1).  Found at

Williment, Ken, Jones-Grant, Tracey, and Somers, Denise. (2011) From Project to Branch Integration and Sustainability: Community-Led Work at Halifax Public Library. Public Libraries, 50(2). Found at

Williment, Ken and Pateman, John. (2015).  Les usagers aux manettes… : Developper des bibliotheques publiques pilotees par les usagers. Bibliotheques(s), Oct. 15 (80).  Found at

Wilson, Kerry and Birdi, Briony. The ‘right’ man for the job? The Role of Empathy in Community Librarianship. London: Arts and Humanities Research Council. Found at:!/file/AHRC-2006-8-final-report-04.08.pdf


Working Together Project (Canada)

The Network (UK) which includes links to the theme-based working papers used to develop research for the Open to All? report (

Libraries Transforming Communities (American Library Association)

Online Presentations and Videos

Education Institute three-part Community Led Library Service webinar series with Edmonton Public Library (November-December 2013):

Relationships: The heart of community-led library service. John Pateman’s presentation at Edmonton Public Library, June 2013.

Community Led Library Service Development. Infopeople webinar presented by Francisca Goldsmith, June 12, 2013.

Putting the Public Back in Public Libraries: Community-Led LibrariesWebJunction webinar presented September 26, 2011. Presenters: Tracey Jones-Grant, manager of ELL, Literacy and Diversity Services, Halifax Public Libraries; Kenneth Williment, Community Development Manager for Halifax Public Libraries; and Randy Gatley, Community Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

Community Development in a Library Context: an audio conference given by Annette DeFaveri on November 23rd, 2006 for the Education Institute.



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