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Identifying Community Partners

Post by Pam Jaskot
Posted March 29, 2013 in

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Haven’t we all said we could use a few extra hours in our day? By the time you field reference questions, help patrons find just the right book, and assist someone with self-check out it’s time to head home. So when can you find the time to work on developing partnerships with others in your community? Community partnerships are key to gaining support for your library and if carefully planned and strategically developed can reap benefits definitely worth your time and energy.

So how can you best develop effective partnerships within your limited time constraints? Well, first you need to identify what you are looking for in a community partner.

As a general rule, you want a community partner who…

  • Understands the library’s value. As library budgets fall under increasing scrutiny, you should choose a partner who is not only aware of the intangible value of the library, but who is aware of how that intangible value is transformed into tangible results that affect the wider community for the better.
  • Understands how the library supports the community. Your potential partners should be in the loop of what the library offers to the citizens it serves. Partners should be in touch with the challenges facing their community, and the role the library plays in addressing them.
  • Is a library enthusiast. Ideally, your community partner should be someone who has firsthand experience with the library and library programs. You want a partner who is willing to be a champion of the library.

Want to find out more about identifying and constructing community partnerships? Join me for an upcoming webinar: Building a LibraryAware Community; Strategic Partnerships that Work on April 30th at 3:00pm. In the webinar we will address how to find the right partner by knowing what you want, knowing what you have to offer, and identifying the audience you want to reach. We will highlight successful partnerships that offer creative ideas you may want to adopt. Don’t miss out, register now!

Pam Jaskot is a LibraryAware Consultant.