Blogger Stacy Dillon


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!



  1. Kerry Reed

    We have a very successful relationship with our elementary school district. Our latest endevour is to offer CPDU workshops for teachers. Something as simple as highlighting our favorite non-fiction books from the collection (and how they might relate to the cirruculum) has been a huge hit.

  2. Michelle M.

    I’d like to know if there is a point when you should give up on a school. I have been working in the same library for about 6 years and there is this one school that never showed any interest in our library. The only thing I haven’t done was the thing you suggested, go to the school and wait to talk to the principal. I might try that and then if nothing, give up. What do you think?

  3. Stacy

    Michelle: Give it another shot. The key is to get in with *one* administrator or teacher. Teachers do turn over. If you can’t get into the school, try just bringing over stuff — booklists that match curriculum, fliers about library programs. Good luck!

    1. Michelle M.

      Thanks. I think I will try to see if I can get an appointment with the principal. Strangely enough the only thing they were very receptive to was Summer Reading, so maybe there is hope. I like the idea of bringing or sending them information about programs and booklists. Thanks for your help.

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