Need Direction? The Library's Community Reference Team Can Help.

Friday, September 27, 2019
When you think of a reference librarian, the first thing that comes to mind is probably an individual behind a desk urging people to be quiet.  Behind them, shelf after intimidating shelf of reference books that you can only use in the library.

Perhaps you also think of a librarian who helped you discover a great book or guided you through a high school research project.

Much has changed in the world of information discovery.  Books are still there; but so are a plethora of research options.  While many answers are an internet search away, the answers provided by search engines like Google and Bing can often lead to inaccurate information or create confusion.  

As information discovery has changed, so has the Kansas City Public Library.

The Kansas City Public Library has launched a new Community Reference Team charged with helping patrons connect with information and to each other so that our community can thrive.



The Community Reference Team is comprised of five specialists in seven areas of research that the community often requests: small business, government, legal, career resources, financial literacy, nonprofits, and health and wellness.

Legal & Government Information

Jenny Garmon
Jenny Garmon
  • Figure out the status of your Social Security benefits.
  • Get help connecting with organizations that offer free tax preparation assistance.
  • Learn how contact and better communicate with your government representatives.
Jeni Starr
Jeni Starr
  • Research a specific health-related issue.
  • Find a qualified medical specialist in the Kansas City area.
  • Learn more about the many health and wellness resources at the library and throughout the community.
Hadiza SaAadu
Hadiza SaAadu
  • Write a business plan.
  • Enhance your marketing.
  • Develop your staff.
  • Find other local agencies and organizations that support entrepreneurship.
Rhiannon Johnson
Rhiannon Johnson
  • Create a budget.
  • Learn about investing.
  • Build a better resumé.
  • Improve your writing and interview skills.
Kelly Mahon
Kelly Mahon
  • Learn how to start a non-profit.
  • Find and apply for grants.
  • Write a grant proposal.



The Community Reference Team has regular office hours throughout Kansas City, and are also available for one-on-one appointments.

Team members are available to speak to community groups or organizations.  The goal is to be accessible and convenient so the Library can add new and relevant value to you and your community.


Sometimes questions arise that are beyond the scope of even the best reference librarians.

That’s why in addition to one-on-one meetings and group presentations, the Community Reference Team is working to develop partnerships with organizations and people throughout Kansas City. If we can’t find the answer to a question, we want to be able to connect you with someone who can.

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to reach out if they wish to become a part of this citywide network of experts working to make Kansas City a better place to live and work.


Through the links above, you can find upcoming office hours for each member of our Community Reference Team. If those times don’t work for you, no problem. We’ve also included links to schedule a one-on-one meeting or submit your question via email. Or, if it’s easier for you, just give us a call. We’ve included phone numbers for each member of the team.

Connect with us: