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Children and Teen Services Conference (CATS) 2019


October 7, 2019 10:00 - 16:15


Kelowna BC


The Okanagan Regional Library System (ORL), Nelson Public Library (NPL), and British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) are pleased to announce a professional development opportunity for children’s and teen library staff from across the province at this FREE one-day event.

To REGISTER NOW for this FREE Conference, send your answers to the following five questions to Avi Silberstein (Nelson Public Library) at

Which sessions (descriptions below) are you most interested in attending?

    • Session A (choose one from below):
    • Session B (choose one from below):
    • Session C (choose one from below):

Deadline to register is September 16, 2019.

Session A (30 min):

Physical Literacy
Mitzi Fortin, Community Librarian, Lumby Branch, Okanagan Regional Library System
Like learning the alphabet is essential to reading, learning movement skills is essential to enjoying activities for life. In this half hour session, you will see how this program came to be, a definition of basic physical literacy, how it fits into a library program and some programming ideas. There is room in any story time for a bit of physical literacy.

Flannelboard Storytelling
Michelle Whibley, Community Librarian, Oyama Branch, Okanagan Regional Library System
Get ready for SRC 2020 with a flannel version of the picture book Life on Mars by Jon Agee. All materials provided.

Libraries Are For Everyone: Opening Your Doors to People with Diversabilities Through Great Resource Lists and Programming
Linda Youmans, Youth Collections/System Librarian, Okanagan Regional Library System
By creating an inclusive environment in the library through specialized booklists and programming, children and teens with diversabilities (disabilities) and their families will find the library a great resource. In this session, booklists, service provider lists, outreach, Diversability workshop training and special programs, such as ASL storytime, will be discussed. So open up your library doors to welcome people with diversabilities and the professionals who work with them! Linda won the Leader of the Year Award for her Diversability Work.

Session B (45 min):

Generating Program Design from Your Community’s Social Development Goals
Lucie Bergeron, Community Librarian, Revelstoke Branch, Okanagan Regional Library System
This presentation is about developing a strategic plan for library programming that aligns with your community’s social development goals. It features some fun interviews with community stakeholders, along with thoughts and insights on the power of connection, partnership, and community engagement in creating meaningful programming.

Escape Room
Meg Ross, Coordinator, Children’s and Youth Services, Thompson-Nicola Regional Library
Want to build a fun escape room program that appeals to families with children, teens, and adults, but feel like you don’t have the space to make it work? Have you seen pictures from amazing escape room programs in other libraries, but don’t have a dedicated space to commit to a lengthy program? I’ll share tips, tricks, and plans for three different escape rooms we have successfully run that fit (almost) entirely on a book cart and are easy to set-up and take-down. We’ll talk about rooms with doors that don’t lock, different types of puzzles that are easy to use, how to build multiple rooms using the same materials, and ways that participants can adapt these programs for their own library spaces.

Sex in Young Adult Literature
Davin Helkenberg, On-Call Kelowna Youth Services Librarian
What’s the deal with all the sex in Young Adult Literature? This presentation talks about what young people themselves say that they learned from reading YA Literature about relationships and sex and how it has informed their lives. Let’s have a conversation about Reader’s Advisory for teens and the great books that have the potential to have a positive impact on the sexual well-being of young people.

Session C (60 min):

STEAM in the Library
Heather Marnier, Tech. Assistant & Courtnee Chulo, Tech. Assistant, Kelowna Public Library
Start STEAM programming in your library today! Start if you do not have a Tech background. Start if you hate Math. Start even if you have no technology in your branch. We just want you to start, and we’re going to show you how you can do it. This seminar will inspire you to use STEAM in the library by demonstrating how you can start with any idea that excites the imagination, as well as provide you with practical takeaways to get the ball rolling. STEAM is YOU creating and using science, technology, art, or mathematics – so let’s get started today!

Sensory Storytime: How We Can Help You Adapt Storytime to Meet Community Needs
Jenny Cofell and Laurie Darveau-Willms, Lethbridge Public Library
Sensory Storytime is a program specifically designed for children with autism and other PDD. In this session, we will go through the process that led us to being able to offer a Sensory Storytime program at our library. We will share the kinds of partners and professionals who guided us with their expertise and knowledge of autism and PDD. We will also take participants through a Sensory Storytime to show what this program could look like in your library. We offer tips of what worked and what didn’t and encourage participants to let us help them learn how to offer their program in their libraries.

Community-Based Work
Els Kushner, Vancouver Public Library + other panelists TBA
Community-led programming can be an incredibly powerful way to connect with vulnerable communities. But how do you actually do it? There are lots of templates for leading a toddler storytime or starting a kids’ book club, but few nuts-and-bolts resources available about community-led programming, and no one right way to implement it. In this panel session, we’ll talk with library staff who are building relationships and doing community-based work with children and families in a variety of settings. We’ll explore different models for community-led programming, discuss the barriers that can make this work challenging to initiate and sustain, and hear about the rewards that make it meaningful. Audience participation is encouraged; please bring your questions and your own stories so that we can support and inspire each other in this important, exciting work.