British Columbia Library Association

Children and Teen Services (CATS) Conference a Growing Success

By Avi Silberstein


For the past few years, the Children and Teen Services (CATS) Conference has been held in the Kootenays, and attended by libraries belonging to the Kootenay Library Federation. This year, we decided to extend our reach and make it a provincial conference. We found a willing partner in the Okanagan Regional Library system, which offered to host and co-organize the 2019 event.

The conference was held in early October, and was attended by 70 library staff from across the province. In all, 26 different libraries were represented—big and small, rural and urban. We were fortunate to be able to offer a wide slate of workshops: 

CATS Conference 2019CATS Conference 2019

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We received great feedback on the event, including this comment: “I appreciated that it was an alternative to a lower mainland conference. It was so nice to hear from speakers from various libraries, many of them rural. A cool, niche conference.” Attendees were also grateful for the affordability (attendance was free), and for the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate across library systems.

The conference was organized by Linda Youmans (ORL), Ardie Burnham (ORL), and Avi Silberstein (NPL). It was presented by the Okanagan Regional Library, the Nelson Public Library, and the British Columbia Library Association.

Next year’s conference is tentatively scheduled for October 5, 2020—to be held once again in Kelowna, BC.

Avi Silberstein is the Children’s Services Coordinator at the Nelson Public Library.

Photography credit:  Michal Utko (Okanagan Regional Library)

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