Community Partnerships

Community Partnerships

Posted on Thursday December 15, 2011 at 09:24AM

Partnerships! Partnerships!
Know Your Community
Developing partnerships to support library programming has been getting more and more attention in the past few years. And this makes sense – if you can find someone else who is working towards a similar goal, who can help with the work, space, and/or cost of a project or program, then you’d be foolish not to take advantage of it! The one Library Service Response that relies most heavily on successful partnerships, in fact cannot function effectively without them, is Know Your Community, Community Resources and Services.

                              Residents will have a central source for information about the wide variety
                              of programs, services, and activities provided by community agencies and

There could be quite a bit of leg-work involved in getting this service response on its feet, which should be a consideration in terms of staffing. Time will be needed to establish and maintain contacts. Decisions need to be made and followed through on which organizations get promoted in the library, and how, and what expectations the library has of these organizations in return, if any. Time and space (both physical and virtual) will be required to develop appropriate promotions of community events.

One option is to create a community events bulletin board (either physical, online, or both). One of the issues that may arise with this is the upkeep: will you require organizations to contact you when they have new information (which often they will forget to do), or will you be constantly contacting the organizations for up-to-date information (which may result in your frustration when people are not available or avoiding you). While neither of these two workflows sounds really appealing, it is one of the possible downsides of working with partnerships that you should anticipate. It may not happen to you, but it’s always good to hope for the best, expect the worst and have a back-up plan ready to go.

The upside of this particular service response is the recognition the library receives as the community hub, the go-to place to find out about all community events and happenings, the information centre of all things local. If you can become this in your community, think of all the support you can get come budget presentation time. With strong ties to all local organizations, you will be able to get the backing you need when you need it most.

Author: Northern Lights Library System


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