Library’s VISTA Team Grows in Size, Impact

AmeriCorps VISTA members – Volunteers in Service to America – are catalysts for change, dedicating a year of work to help institutions and organizations alleviate poverty.

During National Library Week from April 7-13, we celebrate the more than four years they’ve served with the Kansas City Public Library.

The Library’s VISTA Project has grown in that time from just a few volunteers to 13, branching out to four subsites. Members build partnerships, raise social awareness, write grants, and organize volunteers.

The VISTA team has recruited and trained more than 150 volunteers for such Library programs as Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment (RISE) and Tech Access. The former offers citizenship preparation and connects immigrant populations with other Library services, resources, and lifelong learning opportunities. The latter acclimates adults to computers and other digital tools through classes, group study, and one-to-one sessions.

All told last year, the Library’s VISTA members established and facilitated programming that served more than 3,000 community members.

Current VISTA Project partners include the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Jewish Vocational Services, HJ’s Youth and Community Center, and United Way’s 555 Olive Center.