On May 9th, YALSA published a new toolkit called Partnering to Increase Your Impact.
Six members and one chair worked since July 2016 in the Community Connections Taskforce to pull together ideas and resources about how libraries can partner with other organizations and locate funding opportunities. Pictured are Adrienne Strock, Rachael Bohn, Bill Stea, Dina Schuldner (chair), and Billie Moffett. Not pictured are Derrick Burton and Markita Dawson.
We worked virtually, through email, phone, and video chats to develop this resource that is invaluable to librarians and libraries in finding partnerships and funding that increase the impact Teen Services can have on the Young Adult population.
There are ten steps that should be taken in order to get the most out of a partnership. They include identifying a teen need, making an inventory of the library’s assets, choosing assets that would come from another organization, and then identifying and vetting potential partners. Once that initial research is done, it’s all about the relationship you build with your chosen partner. Together, you can co-develop a program or service and implement it for the teens you serve. Maintaining that relationship you’ve built will allow you to evaluate the impact of your program or service and either stick with it, or adjust it. You may even discover that your partner isn’t the best fit, in which case you can move on to other potential partners you’ve already identified in the earlier steps.
We included some great commentary about some libraries’ experiences with partnerships.
There is also an invaluable section on funding opportunities that was developed in part through a survey conducted with libraries around the country. You will find these ideas helpful in your own quest to increase funding for teen services at your library.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve YALSA as chair of the Community Connections Taskforce, and am grateful to have worked with such fine people in developing this resource. Please share this toolkit with other members of your library who can help you make your partnership and funding dreams come true!