Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Connecting with Local Officials @ the Library

When thinking about new partnerships to cultivate at your library, your local elected officials may not be the first people to come to mind—especially if they are not already library supporters. However, there can be significant benefits to creating partnerships with your local officials. You can show the impact of libraries firsthand, engage in direct advocacy, and connect the community with their elected officials. At Ramsey County Library, in suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota, we chose National Library Week as a perfect opportunity to invite members of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners to visit storytimes as special guest stars.  Inviting them for a specific event and purpose really allowed us to set the expectations of what would happen and what we wanted to accomplish. Rather than seeing this as simply inviting someone to “read a book to kids,” we framed it as an opportunity for the Commissioners to visit the…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Local Firefighters Light a Spark at the Library

If you work in the children’s area of the library, you are probably well aware of the popularity of firefighters and fire trucks with our smallest patrons. Why not partner with your local fire department to bring a special program to your library? My library in Brooklyn, NY has been collaborating for several years with our local firehouse as part of an event called “Read Across Brooklyn.” This event takes place each year in early March, coinciding with Read Across America. During our version of the celebration, each of our library branches read the same book on the same day, and many choose to invite a guest reader from the community.  We have had great luck by inviting a guest reader from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) to come and read to the Pre-K classes from one of our local elementary schools. In fact, it has been so…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Libraries Partner with Community Agencies to Help Fight Food Insecurity

The Realities of Food Insecurity Food insecurity is a growing problem across the nation. Food security is a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way to measure the risk of hunger. Currently in the United States, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger.[1] Food insecurity can cause individuals and families to make extremely difficult choices between buying food and paying bills. These choices can affect the ability of children to learn and grow, the ability of seniors to seek critical healthcare, and can cause health complications for people of all ages. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 41.2 million people lived in food- insecure households in 2016. 8 million adults lived in households with very little food security and 6.5 million children lived in food-insecure households.[2] This problem…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Supporting Our Community Through Partnerships: Social Services

My library system in Las Vegas, NV has been extremely fortunate to have found such amazing partnerships over the last couple years to bring services to our community that we would have never have had before.  Two of my favorite are partnering with Three Square (https://www.threesquare.org/), a local food bank, who provides free lunch every day after school for children and teens ages 0-18, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ (UNLV) America Reads, America Counts (https://www.unlv.edu/finaid/work-programs/america-reads-counts), a free tutoring service also available every day.  Both partners pay for their own staff to facilitate the programs and utilize our branches to host these wonderful services. My branch in particular, the Spring Valley Library, is located in one of the most impoverished areas of Las Vegas.  We host both programs and serve over 50 lunches each day and equally that many students and more are able to take advantage of our…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Joining Forces with Tweens

Communication is Key The foundation of any successful partnership is communication. Partnerships have many forms, from agreements with large institutions, to local organizations, or between individuals. Rather than looking at a partnership from the perspective of two organizations collaborating, I looked at it as an internal relationship between the library and community, specifically the tween community. Before establishing a partnership, most people look into meaning, purpose, and the hopeful outcome of this collaboration. After struggling to connect with teens and multiple unsuccessful program endeavors, I thought about what we could do to ensure that we connected with kids before they became teens. If we focused on strengthening our relationship with the 6-8th graders, then we would have an established partnership and hope that this would carry on into high school, resulting in seeing these teens in our library. Making Your Move We had a group of tweens who would come…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Creating a Conversation with The Seventh Wish

In 2017, Harford County, Maryland has had more than 400 opioid overdoses, compared to 246 last year, 79 of those being fatal. We are not alone in this terrible epidemic that is affecting all parts of our communities. What can a public library do to support the community in the face of this epidemic? The answer came to me last year after reading The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner—create a conversation starter based on the community reading this relevant book.  

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Light, Camera, Action: When libraries make community partnerships, video magic is made!

As a Hip-Hop music fan since I was young it was very exciting to be involved in a project that combined this popular music genre with reading, libraries and families for a true recipe for success!  It all started with Adult Services Librarian Katie Rothley who used her talents to turn the popular rap anthem “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled into “All I Do Is Read”. From there it was decided that young voices were needed to bring the song to life. 

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Growing a Partnership – Public Libraries and Public Transportation

Most successful partnerships don’t happen overnight. They can take time, sometimes even years, to develop. Partnerships that begin simply can grow into something wonderful when they are cultivated and given time to blossom. I’d like to share a success story from my library in Knoxville, TN. As two government agencies that serve many of the same community members, the Knox County Public Library (KCPL) and Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), have worked together casually for many years. The central library and many library branches are located along KAT bus and trolley routes. As a resource to our patrons, KCPL provides space for KAT to display brochures and maps of these routes, and public transportation makes it possible for many of our patrons to travel to the library. Source: Knoxville Area Transit A couple of years ago, the partnership between KCPL and KAT began to really grow into something special. When making…