Programming & Outreach

Libraries must find new ways to engage the community through programs that support learning, social and community development, creativity and innovation.  Outreach activities and programming are also effective ways of extending the reach of the library and serving non-users, the under-served, and people with special needs.

Last updated: June 26, 2014

Competency: Manages and advocates for programs and outreach services that advance the Library’s mission

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Aligns programs and outreach services with the library’s goals and objectives and with the identified interests and needs of the community
  • Understands and promotes the value of programming and outreach services as part of library services for adults (educational and social value, cognitive stimulation, reaching under-served, etc.)
  • Determines objectives of adult programs and outreach services (e.g., bringing adults and teens together, improving computer literacy, etc.)
  • Determines budget required to implement programs and outreach and seeks to integrate programs and outreach  into the library’s budget
  • Coordinates with IT and other departments to address technology requirements for programming
  • Promotes the library’s programs and outreach to the community in coordination with marketing efforts
  • Coordinates with collection development efforts in support of programming and outreach
  • Evaluates programs and outreach using appropriate evaluation strategies (evaluation forms, debrief with presenters, input from frontline staff, etc.), and uses results to improve future programming efforts.


Competency: Designs and implements outreach services and library programs for targeted adult groups (seniors, new Canadians, job seekers) that offer information, special skills or entertainment

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Analyzes information about the community in order to identify markets and special interest groups and develops a variety of programs to meet the needs and interests of target audiences
  • Aligns all outreach and programming efforts with the library’s overall goals and objectives
  • Identifies individuals and groups not adequately served (those with disabilities, homebound, institutionalized, remote, non-English speaking, immigrant, low literacy, etc.)
  • Determines the particular needs of each target audience and works with groups to design a variety of programs and services appropriate to them
  • Acknowledges the knowledge and experience of adults and provides opportunities for them to volunteer with the library
  • Explores the various options to deliver library services to remote users (mail, bookmobile, online, multimedia)
  • Designs programs and builds collections and information resources to meet the special language and literacy needs of the community
  • Collaborates with other community groups to meet the literacy needs of target audiences.


Competency: Develops and Delivers engaging adult programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Pursues new ideas and experiments in order to create interesting and engaging programs
  • Investigates the options for programs through research, benchmarking with similar organizations, consulting with colleagues, focus groups, etc.
  • Understands traditions and  trends in library programming; tracks developments and potential in areas such as gaming and maker spaces
  • Develops programs to acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity of the community
  • Actively involves users in planning, implementing and evaluating programs
  • Identifies program venues outside of the library
  • Identifies opportunities to collaborate with other departments, community organizations and individuals on creating programs.

Please review's Terms of Use. For questions, comments and suggestions regarding this website, please Contact SOLS Helpdesk.

The Southern Ontario Library Service  is working to make our website accessible to all. We welcome comments and suggestions on access improvements and encourage you to take a look at our updated Accessibility Policy. If you require a particular PDF or word document in an accessible format, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also offer BrowseAloud reading support - click on the orange graphic to the right to launch.  Learn more about BrowseAloud.

The support of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is gratefully acknowledged.