The Partnerships Advocating for Teens Interest Group is affectionately referred to as PAT. The goal of PAT is to “explore, recommend, initiate and implement ways of working with other organizations that work for youth. “
If you’re asking yourself why do partnerships matter? Consider some of the potential benefits of partnering with outside organizations. Partnerships can:
- Provide a way to share resources and publicity efforts in a time of reduced funding
- Help each organization work to achieve a common goal or realize a common vision
- Help each organization be more effective
- Reap mutually beneficial rewards and credibility
- Help you gain additional funding sources
- Provide an opportunity to reach a new audience of teens
- Lead to other new, exciting and successful partnerships
- Offer a way of garnering new skills, competencies, and awareness as a result of working with each other
Intriguing, yes? For a wonderful overview of the research involving libraries and partnerships for youth, check out the literature review that Vikki Terrile, a member of PAT, has created here.
We meet on ALA Connect once a month for “Pat Chats” to discuss these ideas and more. We are excited about producing a definitive resource for those librarians wishing to forage partnerships with outside organizations – a place for inspiration, examples and other resources. If you’d like to get involved, join our Interest Group! Find us on ALA Connect under the group “YALSA Partnerships Advocating for Teens,” or just click here. Next Pat Chat is on April 22 at 10AM CST. And don’t forget that elections are happening in May and our Interest Group will be looking for a Convener!
The coolest thing about forming partnerships between libraries, city agencies and community-based organizations is that they seem to develop exponentially. Maybe it’s just the nature of networking, maybe it’s that, like librarians, social workers and case managers in service agencies are used to doing more with less. Whatever the reason, every partnership I’ve gone into with folks in other youth-serving agencies has been worth more than the sum of its parts.
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In case you haven’t heard, the YALSA Committee: Partnerships Advocating for Teens is transitioning to an Interest Group in 2010. If you don’t have time or $$ to commit to conferences and traditional committee work, but still want to get involved with YALSA, consider joining an Interest Group!
Now… on to the pep talk!
Information Today, Inc. has published a great book on partnerships entitled, Library Partnerships: Making Connections Between School and Public Libraries. I asked the author, Tasha Squires, some questions about her book.
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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.
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Recently a flyer went out to ALA/YALSA members about a grant opportunity called the Great Stories CLUB. It is a way to connect with hard-to-reach, underserved teens by conducting a Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion program in your library. Books used in the program are relevant to their lives, including:
- One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
- The Afterlife by Gary Soto
- The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
The grant is available to libraries located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens, such as juvenile justice facilities, alternative high schools, drug rehabilitation centers and nonprofits serving teen parents. Teen participants are invited to read and keep three theme-related books, as well as discuss each title with a group of their peers.
By showing teens that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world, the program inspires young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.
For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions, and feedback from past participants, visit www.ala.org/greatstories. Online applications will be accepted through November 2.
This program was jam packed with useful information for both public and school librarians. Gail Bush started things out with some historical context, and then Tasha Squires presented the Nuts and Bolts of Collaboration (available as a powerpoint on the ALA conference materials wiki). She had some really helpful hints on initiating the partnerships, working with your administration and structuring the partnership. Keeping statistics is key. It was really helpful to see the partnerships in action with specific examples ranging from discusion groups to reading challenges. Lots of ideas for these difficult economic times. Kathie Weinberg, Bethesda Library, MCPL
YALSA’s Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT) Committee will be hosting “It Takes Two: School and Public Libraries, Partnerships That Can Work” at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, on Sunday, July 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition to featuring two speakers who have considerable knowledge and expertise on the subject, the program will consist of several presenters of “best practices” in collaborative programming or partnership for school and public libraries.
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Looking for a way to participate in YALSA? Why not join the Partnership Advocating for Teens (PAT) Interest Group? The mission statement of the proposed group is:
To explore, recommend, highlight, and support partnerships between libraries, schools, and other organizations that serve young adults.
Currently PAT is a YALSA committee, but over the next year, we will be transitioning into an Interest Group. As a committee, PAT has regularly sponsored programs at conferences and has published articles. As an Interest Group we will be able to continue to do the same types of activities. Currently Pat is sponsoring the program “It Takes Two: School and Public Libraries, Partnerships that Work” at Annual on Sunday, July 12 from 3:30 – 5:30. We will also have an upcoming article in the Fall issue of YALS.
If you would like to get in on the ground floor of this Interest Group, now is the time to sign up. Just send the following information: name, ALA member number, institution, email, address, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. All we need are 15 current YALSA members to sign our petition in order for us to take our proposal to the YALSA Board.
This is an exciting time for our committee and we hope you will join us on our journey. If you have any questions at all about the Partnerships Advocating to Teens (PAT) Interest Group, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
You may have heard that our YALSA committee, Partnerships Advocating for Teens (or PAT), is putting on a session at ALA Annual in Chicago. In case you haven’t heard about it, here’s a brief summary:
“It Takes Two: Creating Partnerships with School and Public Libraries” will feature speakers who have considerable knowledge and expertise on school and public library collaboration. Read More →