ALSC Online Courses

It’s Mutual: School & Public Library Collaboration

ALSC Online Education
ALSC Online Education (image courtesy of ALSC)

Starting this summer, I will be teaching an online course for ALSC called It’s Mutual: School and Public Library Collaboration. As two public institutions, it’s important for us to reach out to each other, especially as budgets tighten. We already share an audience that we hope will turn into lifelong learners (and library users).

With early literacy programming, public libraries are often the first place kids start learning, when they become students we supplement their learning, and hopefully, when students graduate, they will still rely on the library to aid their learning. When schools and public libraries come together they can share expertise, workers, and save money by sharing resources. Let’s say you have a database that doesn’t see a lot of use. If every student has a library card they can all get to the database. If public librarians and school teaching staff get together to teach the students how to use the database, it will get more use and teachers will be aware of its existence to promote it. Collaborations help communities value education and become aware of resources, as well as position public libraries as “educators” too.

I created this course to help public librarians, school librarians, teachers, and school administrators come together to benefit the students and the institutions they belong to as well.

In this class, you will practice making materials for different school services scenarios. You will learn to research local statistics in order to state your case to school administrations and library board members. You will learn to set up a basic yet comprehensive school services program that opens up communication between libraries and schools (and maybe leads to more joint projects). School services librarians are not here to replace school librarians, but to work together on programming, promotion and library resources to benefit our preschool to high school community.

If you would like to sign up, register here: This is a six-week course, beginning July 13th.


Rachel Reinwald is the School Liaison Librarian at Lake Villa District Library. She has an MLIS from Dominican University as well as several teaching certificates. She loves supporting teachers through professional development, sharing library resources, and suggesting helpful websites and apps. Her interests outside of libraries are lesson planning (oh wait, that’s work isn’t it) rock climbing, writing, and moonlighting as a personal trainer. She blogs at

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