Community Resources

Community Resources Mission

The Kansas City Public Library’s Community Resource Team provides individuals experiencing life-challenges an inclusive place to access the connections, supports and services they need.

Coffee and Conversation

The Community Resources Team hosts this monthly event aimed to assist library patrons experiencing homelessness. Coffee & Conversation occurs on the third Wednesday of every month from 10:30am to 11:30am on the 3rd floor of the Central Library.

Community Resources @ Central

Community Resources hosts weekly “tabling” on the 3rd Floor of the Central Library, every Tuesday from 10am - 12pm and Thursday afternoon from 1pm - 3pm. The Community Resources staff and community organization representatives are there to provide assistance, resources and referrals to library patrons experiencing homelessness.

Boots on the Ground

Boots on the Ground is a monthly outreach service for Veterans experiencing homelessness provided in partnership with the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. On the fourth Friday of every month, representatives distribute hygiene items, bottled water, snacks, as well as provide assistance with applying for services. Contact us for more information.

Annual Community Resource Fair

Service providers from 30+ community agencies/organizations come together at Central Library to share information about essential resources for those experiencing life-challenges. To learn more, contact Kelly Berry, Outreach Community Engagement Associate, at 816.701.3543 or by email.

Re-Entry Services

Reentry Services at the Kansas City Public Library include Job Club hosted by the Lucille H. Bluford Branch. Job Club is a weekly job readiness class set to enhance the employability of those who have been involved with the criminal justice system.

Let’s Talk

A Community Resource Team member facilitates a bi-weekly advisory group to connect those who were recently incarcerated with individuals who have found some level of happiness/success since being released from incarceration. Contact us for more information

Vital Document Navigation Guides

The Community Resources Team developed Navigation Guides to assist individuals with step by step instructions in how to get their Missouri Birth Certificate, Missouri or Kansas ID, and their Social Security Card; plus a document that explains how to begin if the individual has no vital documents.

The Team

Beth Hill: Community Resources Sr. Specialist

Beth Hill is the Community Resource Sr. Specialist for the Kansas City Public Library. After teaching in higher education for over twenty years, Beth went back to school to become a social worker. She served as a VISTA Volunteer for the Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas Job Hunter’s Program, as a Career Development Specialist for Job Corps, and as a Job Readiness Coach for inmates at Topeka, KS Women’s Correctional Facility. Beth brings her training and life experiences together to build trusting relationships with the library’s most vulnerable patrons to offer a “warm hand-off” to local service agencies for help and support.

Kelly Berry: Community Engagement Associate

Kelly J. Berry is the Outreach Community Engagement Associate at the Kansas City Public Library. She has a master’s degree in Education and 20 years of experience working in the Leavenworth Public School District. Kelly has several years of community engagement experience, including her years of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member on the Library’s Community Resources team as well as a Community Organizer with the Local Investment Commission. As the Outreach Community Engagement Associate, Kelly works to broaden the Library’s engagement with service providers and vulnerable populations. She serves as a connector between the Library, service agencies, and patrons experiencing life-challenges.

Mary Olive Joyce: Director of Library Outreach and Community Engagement

Mary Olive Joyce is the Director of Library Outreach and Community Engagement at Kansas City Public Library. Mary holds master’s degrees in both Social Work and Library Information Science. She has over 20 years’ experience working in libraries and over a decade working in and collaborating with community and social service agencies in the greater Kansas City Metro. As the Director of Outreach, Mary enjoys working with a diverse team of staff dedicated to removing barriers and increasing access to Library services and community connections. In her role at the Library, she leads a team of Outreach staff with broad specialties including Mobile Library Services/Outreach, Senior Programming, Community Resources, Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment, and the Library VISTA Project.

Practicum Students:

The Community Resource Team has Social Work Practicum Students who assist with current programs and build new programs to better meet the needs of the patrons.

AmeriCorps VISTA

The Community Resource Team has AmeriCorps VISTA Members who assist with current programs and build new programs to better meet the needs of the patrons.

For further questions about any of these services, please contact us via email or by phone at 816.701.3767