Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards

Community Partners

Each library...establishes and maintains partnerships with other educational, cultural or community organizations which enable the library to address the community’s needs, as outlined in the library’s long-range plan of service.

WHY ESTABLISH PARTNERSHIPS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY?

Collaboration and partnerships with other local organizations are critical foundations for long-term sustainability and community impact. The more bridges built to the community and within the community, the stronger the ties between the library and supporters.

To meet this standard, a library must demonstrate that it is actively partnering with one or more community organizations by working collaboratively to offer a library program or library service.  For example: Summer Reading by partnering with the school district; partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to provide services to local businesses; working with the county health department to provide opioid overdose prevention programs; partnering with literacy volunteers to offer English as a Second Language courses in the library or literacy tutoring.

As trusted centers of the community, libraries are in a unique position to attract potential partners, and to provide resources and benefits to organizations with common goals. In a time of diminishing funds and increasing demands, partnerships are essential to meeting community needs, and to sustaining an active and engaged environment for customers. (WebJunction, Libraries Building Strong Community Partnerships)

WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS AND GROUPS WITH WHICH A LIBRARY CAN FORM PARTNERSHIPS?

Some good examples of potential community partners include  local school districts and BOCES; preschools and nursery schools; Head Start; YMCA; museums; historical societies; community colleges and universities; arts councils; Cornell Cooperative Extension; genealogical societies; United Way; soil and water conservation agencies; governmental agencies; Small Business Administration; Chamber of Commerce; local businesses; Workforce Development agencies; hospitals; Lions and Rotary clubs; and many others depending on the community.

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THESE PARTNERSHIPS?

Community partners can provide new programming opportunities, new resources for the library, and new services to library users. Community partnerships can also help bring non-users, occasional users, and new residents into the library.  This results in quality programming for minimal expense that is more responsive to community needs and strengthens community engagement with the library. 

RESOURCES TO HELP GET STARTED WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS:

WHERE CAN THE LIBRARY GO FOR HELP?

Consult the library system for assistance.

<Technology Training for Staff | Back to Contents>

Last Updated: May 24, 2019