Blogger Building Partnerships committee

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,…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

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…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Who Are Your Library Partners?

Forming partnerships allows libraries to expand their services, share their expertise and strengthen their position in the community. Additionally, working with other organizations to support youth services in libraries is a two-way street, where the partnering organization benefits, as well as the library. The ALSC Building Partnerships Committee helps identify and share information about building effective, cooperative and innovative partnerships. Linked below is our growing list of organizations that support Youth Services. Organizations Supporting Youth Services    We want to hear from you. What successful partnerships has your library cultivated recently? Jackie Cassidy engages children and families in a love of reading and sparks their passion for learning as a librarian at Harford County Public Library in Maryland. She is Co-Chair of the Building Partnership Committee. 

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

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 Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Bilingual Outreach at the Doctor’s Office

One of the most formidable aspects of public library work is reaching out to community members who are not current library users. This challenge can be made more daunting when trying to reach immigrant and non-English speaking populations who may not be present at more typical outreach events like back-to-school nights. Meeting these groups where they are is important as many times they have not previously used libraries and are not sure what services we provide or if they are able to get a library card. To bridge this gap, Alexandria Library staff members have been visiting a local doctor’s office in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood for the last three years. Every Monday morning at 8:30am, Patricia Amaya and Christian Reynolds arrive wearing aprons embroidered with the library logo to engage parents and children while they wait for their appointments. Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, talks with adults about what the…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Engaging Your Community : What Does That Mean?

A definition Community engagement is an important emerging trend in public libraries.  What, exactly, is community engagement, you ask? Well, according to Dr. Crispin Butteriss of, it can be described as both a process and an outcome.  In other, words it is both a noun and a verb.  Butteriss further describes it as “the process of getting people better connected into the community and for ensuring that the services they were designing me[e]t the specific needs of the people they are working with.” Applying the principles of community engagement specifically to libraries has been the focus of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative.  The LTC initiative “seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents.” On a regional level, RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) has formed a community engagement networking group. I am my library’s youth liaison to the community.   I do outreach with several different agencies,…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Last Year’s “Light the Way” Grant Winner: Partnering with Juvenile Detention Facilities to Provide Maker-Space Outreach and Programming Using Music

The J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester and the Middletown Free Library are located just over six miles apart in southeastern Pennsylvania. However, the libraries’ service populations are very different. The city of Chester has an unemployment rate of 9% and a poverty rate of 33%, with almost half of those under the age of 18 living in poverty. The city of 34,000 is also among the most diverse in the state, with a population that is approximately 75% African American, 17.2% White, and 9% Hispanic. Middletown has a suburban population of 15,807, which is 93.7% White and 3.1% African-American, and a median annual income of $77,000. However, the two libraries have a shared goal of expanding outreach and programming offerings for young people who are underserved by libraries.