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Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Collaborate to Stop the Summer Slide

As the school year wraps up and Summer Reading approaches, now is a perfect time to collaborate with your local school and public libraries. We all know how important it is for students to maintain reading skills during summer vacation. It’s time to reach out and work together to give kids the best summer opportunities. For schools with summer reading expectations, providing summer reading lists to public libraries can help to ensure that they have listed books on hand for students. School librarians can help to facilitate the connection by reminding teachers to prepare and share lists in spring. Having reading lists early helps public libraries to purchase books before Youth Services Departments get too busy with summer programs.  Public librarians who serve youth can contact their local schools to promote summer reading. At the elementary level, visiting library classes to encourage students to participate in summer reading can get…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration): What’s an Intergovernmental Agreement?

When I started to look into strategic planning for our school services at our public library, I found out that we didn’t have a school services policy and we didn’t have something called an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). I had never been in management, so I didn’t quite know what each of these things were. I just knew that as we were adding services and schools to our service area, more and more questions were coming up that we needed an organized front of answers to and the ability to provide more services. Our library had enough money and our schools were starting to drown in debt. We wanted to help them, but we needed parameters and permission. Apparently, all I could mostly do in the schools was booktalk, but we were so much more than that. I started exploring IGAs. According to our state law (and probably yours), you cannot…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is here!

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (SPLC) is pleased to announce the publication of the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit. This toolkit is the result of a three-year collaborative effort with members of AASL, ALSC and YALSA. It is a collection of information, research, and examples that will help facilitate and incorporate collaborative initiatives between public and school libraries.

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Fine Free

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the Los Angeles Public Library system (LAPL) have created a system-wide collaborative effort similar to those discussed in the now completed Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit. There are three System-wide Initiatives found in other parts of the nation described in the toolkit, but Los Angeles has cooperated in a way that is different, yet. (You can view the other System-wide Initiatives and many other programs that will fit any public or school district at: http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/professional-tools/school-public-library-partnerships .) Where do you start on a project this big? In this case, LAPL originally approached LAUSD with a plan to issue Student Success Cards to every kindergartener the first year and grow the card disbursements from there. As LAPL and LAUSD discussed the fineries of the plan, it slowly became what it is, today. Every K-12 student in LAUSD – even those that are…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Reach Across the Aisle for Partnerships that Transform Youth Services

Through school-public library collaboration, librarians support one another in expanding and nurturing their communities’ literacy ecosystems. Patricia Jimenez is the school librarian at Sunnyslope High School (SHS) in the Glendale (Arizona) Union High School District. At the time of their collaborative work, Emily Howard was the young adult librarian at the Cholla Branch of the Phoenix Public Library (PPL); she is now the assistant branch manager at Desert Sage. Together, Patricia and Emily developed a series of programs based on their determination to take literacy “where teens are.” School librarian Patricia and public librarian Emily’s partnership began when Emily reached out about visiting the Sunnyslope campus to discuss what the Desert Sage Branch had to offer SHS students. Patricia was thrilled because she had been meaning to do exactly the same thing. After their initial meeting, Patricia arranged for Emily and a colleague to visit SHS’s library during lunch periods,…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Creating a Winning Team

During my first years as a school librarian, I worked at a junior high with a group of dynamite classroom teachers. “Collaboration” was a word that we used in discussions and also put into practice. One English teacher and I had the idea of working more closely with the public library and coordinating a summer reading program with our students. Although we did not receive the funding we requested, we pursued the partnership. Over the next five years, we successfully collaborated with the public library on a variety of projects. We soon realized the necessity of developing a “winning team” to establish our collaborative relationship with the public library, involving stakeholders from both institutions. As we progressed we also realized the importance of celebrating our successes. A winning collaborative team typically includes a school librarian and children’s or youth services librarian from the public library. Once everyone agrees to work…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (For Collaboration!): Coding, Collaboration, and Community

Earlier this year, the Westerville Public Library was awarded a LSTA Summer Library Program Grant through the State Library of Ohio that allowed us to purchase robots (Kibo, Dash & Dot, and Sphero SPRK+) to extend our already popular in-house technology programs. But we also wanted to reach children who might never make it to the public library. During June and July of 2017, we collaborated with the Westerville City Schools Summer Intervention program to visit 3rd and 4th graders–many of whom had never been to a public library– to introduce students to basic coding with our new robot partners. Experience: The intrinsic appeal of learning with robots instantly captured students’ attention. We met one of the main goals–increasing interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math)–right away, as most students had no prior hands-on experiences with robotics. We emphasized basic coding concepts and the engineering design process: ask,…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Integrating School & Public Library Systems in Nashville, Tennessee

As a new school year begins in Tennessee, Nashville Public Library (NPL) and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) are entering the next phase of our partnership. The Limitless Libraries program has long acted as a bridge between the two organizations, offering MNPS educators and students in grades 3-12 access to NPL’s materials. NPL and MNPS migrated to a shared ILS in July 2017, creating a technical bridge to further support this relationship. Doing so created cost savings for the city and public library access for all MNPS students, including those in grades PreK-2. This ILS merger has been in process for over a year, and it has been exciting to see the culmination of so much time and thought. Since no existing ILS was functional for both school and public libraries, teams at NPL and MNPS worked with TLC’s Carl-X team to create a custom solution for Nashville. We determined…