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Building Community Partnerships

There were some great sessions scheduled for this morning, but I had to miss them because I had my own to give! My talk was Building Community Partnerships: 25 Ideas in 40 Minutes, and it was indeed fast-paced, leaving me breathless at the end. Happily, I managed to get all my tips into the alloted time and  I think that all the attendees went away with something they could use.

I always encourage librarians to partner with other people, especially to trade for in-kind services. There are lots of folks that you might not think about swapping services with. For instance: Do you need a new logo, but don’t have money to hire a designer? Check with local colleges that have graphic design courses and ask professors if they might assign their classes to create a logo for your library. You get lots of fresh designs to choose from, the prof gets a useful, real-world project for his class, and the students get good experience with understanding a real client and creating something to fit an organization’s needs. Everybody wins!

I also urge librarians not to be shy about creating new relationships outside of their own organizations and their comfort zones. Get to know people in your community; put a human face on the library. Tell them about the valuable services and knowledge that you have to offer them. Trade your knowledge in researching and vetting information for their knowledge. Don’t feel as if you don’t have something to offer.  These days, everyone is looking to get more for less; many individuals and groups are more open to partnerships than ever before.

You can find my other 24 ideas in the conference proceedings. I bet there will be something there for you!

~Kathy Dempsey, Marketing Library Services editor