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EXCITE Transformation for Libraries: Cheshire Public Library

"Community Connections," Cheshire Public Library

The Cheshire Public Library will bring local nonprofit organizations and volunteers together through their "Community Connections" database and projects. The Community Connections program will match volunteers with opportunities based on skill sets and interests. The library will also facilitate social gatherings among volunteers, who will be encouraged to share stories of their experiences.

Project Details

Project Name: Community Connections: Bringing organizations and volunteers together

Purpose: Matches retirees with local organizations based on skill sets and interests.

Grant Funding Amount: $2,000

Key Elements:

Networking group where recent retirees with specialized skills are matched with organizations in need based on assessments of both retirees’ skills and the organization’s needs.

Meetings held at the library every other month with 2-4 different local organizations in attendance to discuss their mission and volunteer needs.

Meetings held at an offsite location like a local bar or restaurant every other month with 1 local organization in attendance to discuss their mission and volunteer needs. The social aspect of the program would be stressed both at the library and offsite.

Database with contact information for Cheshire organizations and the type of help and volunteers they need. The database would also include contact information for volunteers, along with their skills for organizations to access.

Target Audience: Retirees who want to connect with and volunteer in the Cheshire community

Community Support: Artsplace, Cheshire YMCA, Cheshire Food Pantry, Birth-to-Three, Apex, Friends of the Cheshire Public Library

Use of grant funds: flowers, herbs, vegetables, and building supplies for community gardens; preschool and homebound delivery bags; supplies to build a sensory wall for the library's children’s room; volunteer database software

Why: Recently retired library patrons who have expressed an interest in volunteering want:

  • To volunteer their time and make meaningful connections.
  • To be able to use their skills and feel useful.
  • To find a way to meet new people.
  • The process to be easy.

Team Members

EXCITE team from Cheshire

Sandy Hernandez, Lucas Franklin

The Cheshire Public Library has 21.4 FTE employees.

Presentation Slide

Community Connections presentation slide


This pilot of EXCITE Transformation for Libraries and the seed grants awarded to pilot libraries were funded by the State of Connecticut and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.

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