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

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 Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Means Summertime Fun

Though 4th of July has come and gone, summer reading is still in full swing. A critical part of our summer reading initiatives is our outreach programming to provide resources to youth unable to visit the library. One of our most successful outreach programs is our involvement with Summertime Kids. The Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library, Inc. recently received a $10,000.00 Summertime Kids Grant through Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. to provide books and book bags to youth involved in Summertime Kids camps. Summertime Kids camps provide summer resources and experiences to youth from underserved communities, and public library staff partner with camp sites to provide books and book bags to participants. During Summertime Kids programming, youth services staff encourage campers to develop their skills in choosing reading materials as participants select two books they take home to begin or add to their home libraries. Children and teens also…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

See to Read

Public librarians commonly think that helping children get ready for kindergarten is early literacy skills, learning numbers, being able to follow simple instructions, learning to be part of a group. Oregon libraries also help parents meet a kindergarten registration requirement—vision screening. Why vision screening for preschoolers? See to Read, a partnership between the Oregon Library Association and the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at Oregon Health and Science University, is guided by the belief that no child should begin learning to read and write with an undetected vision problem. According to the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic, 80% of learning in the first years comes through vision and often children are misdiagnosed with behavioral or developmental issues. See to Read aims to detect vision problems that can only be treated successfully if caught before age 7. How it works Library staff schedules a screening at no cost to the library, thanks to…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spring Ahead with Outreach Opportunities

Spring is Here! Prior to the start of Summer Reading Club, Spring is typically filled with planning for the busy summer months. However, this season also allows us time to evaluate existing library partnerships and motivation to create new meaningful connections in the community. When it comes to Youth Services Outreach, the possibilities are endless. There are so many passionate librarians that are thinking outside of the box and finding ways to reach all residents. There are inspiring stories of librarians offering storytime in laundromats or creating floating book collections in barbershops. There are even partnerships between libraries and grocery stores and foodbanks. It’s an exciting time to work in Outreach Services, as we can see the positive impact these efforts make in our communities. One of the most important pieces of Outreach, is establishing relationships. Visiting different daycares and classrooms throughout the year is wonderful, and a service that…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

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…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

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…