Category Archives: Uncategorized

For More Great Ideas

To help get those creative juices flowing:



Bringing the Arts into the Library

Carol Smallwood ed. ALA Editions

Successful Community Outreach: A How–To-Do-It Manual for Librarians

Barbara Blake ALA Neal-Schuman

Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, Communities, and Culture 

Deborah A. Robertson ALA Editions

A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building 

Kathleen de la Peña McCook ALA Editions

Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook 

Carol Smallwood ed. ALA Editions

Libraries Beyond Their Institutions: Partnerships That Work.

William Miller ed. Hayworth Information Press


OCLC Partnerships

Museum-Library Partnerships that Work (ALA recorded presentation)

15 Reasons Why Bookstore/Library Partnerships Are Beneficial by Naomi McEneely

Chicago Public Library’s Partnerships

Library Partnerships Ideas from the Real World – Web Junction

Community Partnerships: How to Get it Done (slideshare)


Public Library Partnerships which add value to the Community: The Hamilton Public Library Experience

Beth Hovius

WebJunction Illinois Guide to Partnerships

Out of the Box! A toolkit from Denmark (in English)

Think Global – Sister Cities

Colorado State Library

Library Journal

California Library Association Guide


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The Library Network’s Fall Workshop

Hello? Do You Know We’re Here?

The workshop started off with Community Partnerships from the dynamic Laurie Golden from the Canton Public Library. Her job is Community Relations. She had this advice:

  1. Finding Partners: Look around your community, find a need, small scale is fine.
    1. How will this partnership meet your library’s mission?
    2. Is it mutually beneficial?
    3. Are you adding value or expertise?
  2. Administering Partnerships
    1. Structure: Name a point person. 1 library person contacts 1 person at the partner for ALL contact.
    2. Communication: Expectations, Needs (physical – tables, etc. and otherwise). Be clear, make sure they understand that it is an educational program and they cannot “sell” their services to your patrons.
    3. Data: Track stats, impact, media reporting. Be able to show your partner how valuable they are, how important their contribution is.
    4. Reliability issues: All partners sign a performer’s contract even if event is free
  3. Evaluating Partnerships:  (I have to say Laurie is a wonderful speaker and here her PowerPoint  showed a picture of a romance novel cover with the caption “Was it good for you too?” The room erupted into laughter.)
    1. Reciprocity: Did both sides gain from the partnership?
    2. Branding: Would you take this partner home to meet your mom? Do they fit with your goals? Were they reliable? Courteous? Too needy? Labor intensive?
  4. Partner Recognition
    1. Say Thank You – Sign at event, letter of appreciation, mention in press release
    2. Say it Again! – Post flyers around the library during the event thanking the partners
    3. Social Media, article on website
    4. Signage, both in library and for them, give them space for a booth at events, end of SRP, etc.

Some successful partnerships:

City’s Economic Development Department

Farmer’s Market – Storytime and crafts

SCORE  – information/advice for small businesses

H&R Block –program on new tax laws

Walgreens – Flu shots, Blood pressure screenings

DIA – Inside Out program, Chalk Art night, Art Studio, Youth Philharmonic

Canton Leisure Services

Plymouth Flyers – players read to kids

Detroit Area Diaper Bank – library collects diapers, receives excellent PR

Menchie’s – Partners for SRP, with Friends group, brings Mascot, fundraiser where patron takes flyer to  Menchie’s and library receives 10%

DDA – Card for check out at library, patron receives a discount at business, only certain # of check outs allowed in a time period

One final word of advice from Laurie: Don’t be afraid to let something go. Canton sponsored a MLK Day event that outgrew the library and were receiving little to no recognition in the new venue, combined with way too much effort on their part, so they stepped away and let the new venue run with it.

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November 6, 2013 · 9:43 pm

We interrupt the regularly scheduled post to bring you news of a totally awesome Library Partnership:


The Carnegie Library of Pittsburg, The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, The City of Pittsburg and Highmark bring teens Alternate Homecoming. This mega event includes face painting, a DJ, green screen photo booth,  a flashlight tour of the Natural History Museum and more for the low price of $5. It’s tomorrow night, Nov. 2, so you might want to hurry and get tickets if you’re in the Pittsburg area. In case you aren’t sold on how awesome this is, the theme is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and the proceeds from the event are going to a local children’s cancer charity.

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog posting.

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Partnership Introductions

We come together as a group, and as newcomers to the profession to explore partnerships libraries create with their communities. As discussed in our Introduction to the Information Profession course and through reading, we have learned that a library is more than a place to check out books.   It is also a place for the surrounding community to come together, find resources, as well as to learn and to benefit one’s quality of life. The library serves its community, and the question is, what does the community need?

As the United States deals with economic difficulties, more and more people are in need of low cost resources such as computers, a place to apply for jobs, to fill out tax forms, find help with new technology, etc. How can a library provide all of these resources for free or with minimal cost to patrons? Libraries receive funding through taxes, but often there is not enough. This is where community partners come in, and one of the reasons why libraries are often seen working with other community groups. Another reason community partnerships are important to the library is because      libraries thrive on community engagement and because of this, there is more credibility to the institution when there is some degree of community partnering. This shows that the library is committed to serve and going to great lengths to provide additional services besides book lending. When the library allows patrons to suggest partnerships that will benefit the whole, this shows that the library is a communal place, and that the patrons do have the right to ask for services that may not be traditional. The reason for libraries to need a partner is easily seen, but why would a community organization or business want to help out a library? For that answer, we turn to what Karen Ellis writes in her case study, Partnerships and Collaborations in Public Library Communities: Resources and Solutions. She states, “New and different educational opportunities are…more appealing when offered in the neutral environment of the library….Family friendly library programming and materials are often a draw for potential residences and businesses alike. This is all about quality of life, meeting specific needs for citizens and industry.” (Ellis, 2011)  Community partnerships allow libraries to create a central network around itself. Libraries have already been hubs of information, but now they have grown to become a place to get all manner of questions answered and necessary tasks accomplished.

As an assignment for our Introduction to the Information Profession course, Team 3 has the task of creating a team blog. Just as we collaborate to complete this assignment; so too do libraries collaborate and provide services to their communities. Our Blog will give examples of community partnerships from the perspective of:

  • Art
  • Government
  • Community Groups
  • Entertainment
  • Music
  • Education

In doing so, we recognize that a library not only serves its own community, but has the capacity to provide services to many communities beyond physical borders.

Partnerships come in all different forms. A library can partner with an individual, a corporation or anything in between. There can be one partner to work with the library for an event or many can be brought together all at once. Some simple guidelines for looking into Community Partnerships as well as setting them up are:

1. Do Some Research.

Keep your eyes and ears open. There was the case where a school hosted a Food Truck event, and a percentage of the profits went to the school. This would work wonderfully for a public library whose city holds large events occasionally, or for a library that is big enough to draw crowds of its own. Food Trucks are popular right now. Libraries can jump on the bandwagon and ride some trends.

2. Use Your Peers.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. See what is working at other libraries, tweak it for your own use and run with it. Librarians are sharers, a simple query on a listserve can garner some gems.

3. Attend Meetings.

The theme for The Library Network’s Fall Workshop was: Community Partnerships. Much information was gathered. Look for a later post on the subject. You never know what you might learn.

4. Get With The (Internet) Program!

You might be old school, but there is a wealth of information out there. Social Media is exploding. There are library Pinterest Boards with tons of ideas just waiting to be explored. You don’t have to do it all either, have each staff member take part. One can be the Pinterst guru, another can devote themselves to Tumblr, or Twitter.

There are many different, interesting partnerships out there and we hope to inspire you to go out and make some of your own for your library.


Ellis, Karen. (2011). Partnerships and Collaborations in Public Library Communities: Resources and Solutions. Hershey: IGI Global

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