When a school librarian hears the word “collaboration”, chances are s/he thinks about working with the teachers in his/her school. I’d like to invite everyone to broaden this definition and widen it to include collaboration with your local public libraries and public librarians.
Having worked in public libraries, I remember how hard it sometimes was to get into the schools. As a YA librarian, I remember phoning my local high school to no avail, and then on the advice of a more seasoned librarian, walking over to the school unannounced and planting myself in the office until I could speak with the vice-principal to try and get the ball rolling on a relationship between my library and the school. (I was on that bench in the office for over an hour and a half)! I never forgot that time.
As a school librarian, I make it a point to talk up our local public library to our teachers at every turn. I keep abreast of the programs they offer, let teachers know of curricular matches, and help talk up their stellar children’s programming.
In the broadest possible curricular stroke, every school has a match with the library, since both school and library are part of the community. Our first graders look to the public library as something that helps make a community, while our fourth graders are fascinated by the library’s role in the history of our city. Our fourth graders went beyond their curriculum after learning about the budget cuts our library was facing; they took to twitter to voice their displeasure about the situation.
Are you a librarian in a public library? Have you successfully collaborated with your local schools? Are you a school librarian? Have you successfully collaborated with your local public library? Please use the comments to share ideas and success stories!