Idaho Partners!

As I have visited other libraries and talked to many librarians across the country I can’t help but feel very thankful to live in Idaho. Why is that you may ask? Because Idaho partners!

I’m amazed at the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICFL) and all of the partnerships that it has and shares with all of the libraries across the state and the partnerships that my library here in Rexburg, Idaho has. I would like to share a few examples.

Idaho Family Read week falls in November. This year the theme is “Idaho is Wild About Reading.” The ICFL formed a partnership with the Be Outside organization. This partnership allowed all the libraries across the state to receive or have access to wonderful materials for their program. There were posters, bookmarks, handouts, and many great program ideas that came to any library who wanted them. In my eyes, everyone involved benefited greatly from this partnership.

The other partnership I wanted to talk about was the partnership between our library and the state Juvenile Correction Center (JCC) that is located near our town. The last few years we have received a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to put on The Big Read. In our advertising we attracted the attention of a patron who was interested in the program for herself. In talking with her we learned that she is an instructor at the JCC. We told her we would love to include her students. She was very excited and told the other teachers who quickly wanted to be a part of the program as well. One thing I learned is that the teens who are out there love to read. It is in a lot of ways their escape from their world and their only involvement with the outside world. In my mind, who better to partner with than the library? “…May I add how grateful I am to have gotten involved in that conversation! It has been an incredibly rich experience for all those involved out here!” said Stacey Bergeson, instructor at the JCC. We were able to involve them in our program and have plans to keep the partnership going and hopefully help some of these teens find a better life.

So in the end I realize that there are many other partnerships we have here in Idaho that really allow us to reach out. I wish I was able to share the all! How many partnerships can you have? You will only know if you will try. Go ahead, ask! That is how you find out.

Ray Lusk
YALSA Member
Partnerships Advocating for Teens Committee Member

About Partnerships Advocating for Teens

The purpose of this YALSA Committee is to explore, recommend, initiate, and implement ways of working with other organizations that work for youth.
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