Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Library Partnerships in a Time of Crisis

Every month the ALSC Building Partnerships committee is responsible for writing a blog post, normally it highlights a successful program or event that was made possible through a partnership with an outside organization. In light of recent COVID-19 related events, in which many of the libraries across the country have been forced to cancel programs and close our doors to the public for the foreseeable future, I thought it might be timely to follow up on Cecilia McGowan’s earlier post about how we are responding in our communities— specifically as it relates to some of our partner organizations and institutions.  As youth librarians, our most important partners are our schools and educators— which these days also includes many parents who have been thrown into homeschooling for the first time. In my library system, our youth services staff have already been busily trying to figure out ways that we can help…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Your Library and Junior Achievement

Baltimore County Public Library partnered with our local Junior Achievement thanks in part to a grant from the Maryland State Library. This grant supports Junior Achievement’s Biztown program, which is an interactive space where 5th graders from Central Maryland go for a day to learn the ins and outs of how to be a part of the economy of a town. There, the students take on a role in Biztown as anything from the CEO or CFO of a company, to the Mayor of Biztown, or to the Library Director. Staff at Baltimore County Public Library helped design the Biztown Library and develop the role of the Library Director, as well as provided volunteers to help staff it. In addition to partnering Junior Achievement’s Biztown, the library participated in Junior Achievement’s Inspire Career Fair. Staff from the library demonstrated what it is like to work in a 21st century library with…

Uncategorized

A Book is a Bridge

Recognizing that prison populations include parents, libraries have expanded their partnerships beyond services such as book delivery and discussion groups. New York Public Library and The Free Library of Philadelphia, for example, offer spaces with children’s books and toys for live video visitation. Hennepin County Library and Seattle Public Library have programs called Read to Me that include recording incarcerated parents reading.   Over a decade ago at Multnomah County Library (MCL) in Portland, OR, staff members from adult and youth outreach presented three-part classes that included recording and sharing DVDs of inmates reading aloud that could be given to their families. It was well received but lacked consistent attendance, was logistically difficult, and subsequently ended. Conversations continued about the need for early literacy education for incarcerated parents (including those expecting), grandparents, aunts, uncles–anyone who may be a primary caregiver of children 0-5 years when released. Library outreach staff considered…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

A Partnership Every Kid Can Rely On: Schools and Public Libraries!

It’s been a tough time to be a school-aged kid. School libraries are losing their librarians at an astounding rate, and schools with libraries don’t always have the time to utilize their resources. Public librarians can support kids and school libraries by stepping in to help: class visits and outreach into the schools lets kids and teachers know we are here and available, and by working with teachers and school librarians, we can offer kids an expanded selection of books and topics. A lot of time is spent trying to find the right person to talk to in each school. If the school doesn’t have a dedicated librarian, look for other partners. Some schools have a community coordinator or a parent coordinator to work on relationships between the community at large and the school community. Some schools have class trip organizers for each grade. Once you find a person or…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

One Book, One San Diego

For the past dozen years, KPBS, the local San Diego PBS affiliate, in conjunction with the San Diego Public Library, the San Diego County Library, and other community partners has sponsored the popular community reading program One Book, One San Diego.  In the past several years, the program has expanded to include books for teens, for kids, and a Spanish language title for adults on both sides of the border. This past year, after meeting several times, the selection committee for kids and teens chose Dreamers by Yuyi Morales and The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, respectively.  It didn’t hurt that both titles were also available in Spanish language editions.  The latter was also available as a graphic novel; each previous teen book choice had been a graphic novel, so that allowed the streak to continue, in a manner of speaking. All choices were announced at the second annual Festival of…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Partnering to Expand Inclusiveness in Your Collection: Girls of the Crescent

When putting together a library collection many librarians strive to collect a variety of materials full of the latest and greatest books. In a youth collection this also means collecting books to suit all reading levels and building an inclusive collection that is reflective of everyone in the library community. Building an inclusive collection of materials is important in all library collections, but it is especially important in a youth collection because a child who does not see themselves in the world of literature may be discouraged enough not to read. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find inclusive books and that’s when it’s helpful to build a partnership that will improve your collection. Rochester Hills Public Library was approached by two high school Muslim girls named Mena and Zena Nasiri, who were always avid readers, but grew up longing to see themselves in literature. They decided to make…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Saturday Stories and Songs- Expanding Programming Through Partnerships

Many public libraries can identify with the challenge of providing weekend programming to their patrons. We know that weekends are an ideal time to provide programs for patrons who are unable to attend programming during the traditional weekday storytime sessions, yet we are often so leanly staffed on the weekends that adding the responsibility of presenting programs to our staff workload is next to impossible. Through grant funding and partnerships with a wide range of talented presenters my library system is now able to provide Saturday family programming through our “Saturday Stories & Songs” series in order to meet this critical need. What is Saturday Stories & Songs? Saturday Stories & Songs is a special library series presented nine months out of the year (no programs are scheduled during the months of May, August, and December when attendance for all library storytimes typically declines). The programs presented as part of…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Getting the Picture: An Artistic Community Partnership

As a librarian who doesn’t work in a traditional library setting, I am always on the lookout for novel ways to bring books to unexpected places. Thanks to an all-hands-on-deck operation, we recently welcomed hundreds of children and families to connect with a children’s literacy-based art exhibition at a community hub that inspired many young readers to craft stories of their own. Here’s a look at who partnered in the effort, and some ideas about how you might seek these opportunities in your own community. First, it helps to have a sense of the place.  The Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) brings together more than a dozen non-profit partners that offer social and cultural programs to children and families living east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.  Within its three buildings — which sit on almost 17 acres that include a farm and playground — kids…