Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Librarians visiting WIC Centers

Here at the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), librarians from our nineteen branches make monthly visits to the county’s seven Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Centers. The goal is to let the families know about all the services and programs the library has to offer.  In addition, BCPL placed Early Literacy Centers in each location which contain library books and educational toys. During the visit, librarians read to children, modeling literacy behaviors and talk to families about the benefits of reading to children, the families are also able take a free book home to keep. The Early Literacy Centers are child friendly, with colorful rugs, child-sized tables and chairs, library books, as well as educational toys promoting Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play.  Which organization(s) do you partner with to make this program possible? Has this program led to any new partnerships? Our Youth Family Engagement (YFE) Department partnered with our local…

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Meeting Young Adults Where They Are

Ask many librarians what group of patrons is the most difficult to connect with and you might get a variety of answers. Obviously it varies based on location, public transit (or lack thereof), range of services offered etc. In my system a common response is high schoolers. They have packed schedules with little free time to read or visit the library, often their reading is proscribed by coursework, or superseded by after school activities, hanging out with their friends or college applications. Our Teen New Book shelf is jam packed of the latest and greatest titles with very little movement. I am fortunate enough to work in a town, Grandville, Michigan, where the public library is highly valued and a community hub. My colleague Kris Vogelar, created a wonderful partnership many years ago called A+ Partners in Education. This group pairs local schools with our Youth Staff at the beginning…

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Therapy Dogs in the Library: A Pawsitive Experience

Once a month, the Calabasas Library opens it doors to trained therapy dogs. Families and children sign up for their own one-on-one time to quite literally read with dogs. It’s one of the most beloved programs at the library, a partnership built over a decade. Last year, when the library celebrated its 20th anniversary, the therapy dogs were there during the festivities. Of course they were, they are a part of the library community. Why Therapy Dogs for Literacy? The idea of using therapy dogs for literacy is not new. The program the Calabasas Library uses, Pet Partners, was founded in 1977 and provides millions of trained therapy animal visits a year across a variety of settings. It’s their “Read To Me” literacy program, however, that the Calabasas Library utilizes. Read To Me was founded on the idea that children’s literacy can benefit from trained therapy animals. David E. Williams…

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Enhancing the Mind-Body Connection in Your Storytime

Long stretches of sitting can leave grown-ups stiff and little ones antsy.  Since exercise is known to boost children’s cognitive performance as well as stimulate their brain growth (Dewar 2015), why not incorporate some gentle movement into your next story break?  Tai chi, yoga, and your own creative take on physical expression can build the mind-body connection, and successful partnerships between multi-hyphenate authors, elementary educators, a public library, and a local nonprofit offer a roadmap for recreating a movement-filled storytime in your own space. If this is your first time incorporating movement into your classroom or library read-aloud, try starting with a book that will offer you and the children some basic guidance.  When an opportunity arose to bring author Sylvia Liu to a classroom for a tai chi-based book presentation in the spring of 2017, children’s literacy nonprofit An Open Book Foundation (AOB), which brings authors, illustrators, and their…

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Municipal Partnerships: Making the Most of Your City

Looking to start a new partnership to liven up your programming or outreach? You may not have to look much further than city hall. Many cities have departments that make wonderful library partners, and these partnerships allow us to show kids all that the community has to offer. At the Newton Free Library in Newton, Massachusetts, the youth services department had several partnerships with other city offices. Here, we’ll look at our partnerships with Historic Newton and the mayor’s office during our 2017 Build a Better World summer reading program. Historic Newton When I was tasked with planning an “around your neighborhood” storytime for summer reading, I started looking for a partner in the neighborhood to take over the activity portion of storytime. Historic Newton was a perfect fit. Historic Newton is a city organization that preserves Newton’s history through two museums and various other initiatives. They have education and…

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Children’s Librarians are Experts at …School Readiness

The King County Library System has been partnering with its local Child Care Resources to bring Kaleidoscope Play and Learn to the communities we serve. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is a school readiness program coordinated by Washington State’s Child Care Resources.  Many children ages birth to 5 are not enrolled in formal early learning programs or licensed child care.   The purpose of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn (KP&L) is to work with family, friend and neighbor caregivers, and parents to provide support in preparing their children for success in school and life through quality early childhood experiences.  The program consists of weekly, facilitated groups of 90 minutes or more.  Each session begins with child-directed play and concludes with a coordinated large group activity.  At the library the large group activity is story time, of course!  Children and caregivers participate in open-ended, child-directed play, choosing from a variety of play centers, which…

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Daddy & Me: A Partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and NYC Department of Corrections

On any given day, the New York City Jails have a population of almost ten thousand inmates.* The Brooklyn Public Library, along with the New York Public Library, have dedicated outreach teams that provide library services through a partnership with the NYC Department of Corrections. In addition to offering library lending services inside the facilities, the library has attempted to create ways to connect the people who are detained to their families and communities. This includes the library Televisit program, which allows families to visit select library locations in order to communicate to incarcerated individuals via video chats, and the Daddy & Me Program that takes place in the jail facilities. Recently I joined my colleague Nick Franklin, the coordinator of Jail and Prison Services for the Brooklyn Public Library, on a bus trip to the NYC Jail located on Rikers Island. We were on our way to Family Day,…

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Getting Creative with Partnerships – Public Libraries and Community Arts Organizations

As children’s librarians, most of us excel at presenting programs based around our professional and educational training – early literacy storytimes, children’s literature book discussions, or library and research skills classes. We all draw from our unique, diverse backgrounds to provide other types of programs as well, in areas like STEAM for instance. However, no one librarian, or even library department or system, can present programs on every topic of interest to their community on their own. Programming is an area where building relationships with other community organizations can be especially beneficial. In particular, organizations related to the creative arts, such as music, theater, and writing, can be a great fit for collaborating with libraries. What are some of the benefits to working with these community arts organizations? Adds variety to the types of library programs available to patrons. Regular patrons will be pleased that you’re providing them with more…