The dance of collaboration between schools and public libraries can be sweet, breath-taking and powerful: Common Core standards. Field trips. Library cards for students. Family Literacy nights. Collaborative collections. Database sharing. The possibilities of the choreography are endless.
But like all dances, it takes time, care, practice and effort to create a seemingly effortless dance. Creating robust partnerships between a community’s schools and public library has been in youth services library news recently. The latest issue of Children and Libraries: the Journal of ALSC and the January 2013 issue of School Library Journal both had substantial articles exploring successful partnering.
While partnerships between these two major youth serving institutions are not new, the urgency of the efforts has become far greater in the last year driven by shrinking budgets and staff; a stronger emphasis on tax-supported entities sharing resources; and the adoption of Common Core standards in many states. No matter what size library you work in, these partnerships have assumed greater importance.
There are many examples of school-public library cooperation being shared in the aforementioned publications, in blogs and at state conferences. But the ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee is looking for even more ideas from you, our ALSC Blog readers, on your success stories in reaching out across to your school and public library colleagues.
How have you made initial contact with your colleagues?
What successes have you had?
What types of partnership initiatives have you formed and what are the results?
What are five tips for your success?
Please share in the comments below. Our committee would love to share your input as we work to develop a list of successful collaborative work between public libraries and schools (perhaps similar to the ALSC Kickstart Program for School Age Kids list). It’s a dance we believe we all can do!
Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator at La Crosse (WI) Public Library, is a member of the ALSC School Age Services and Program Committee and blogs regularly at Tiny Tips for Library Fun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Image: ‘Pas de deux (Saint-PÃ©tersbourg)’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/72746018@N00/2782572376 Found on flickrcc.net