Forming partnerships is much like beginning a friendship. Oftentimes, we do not even think about how we create new friendships…so how does it happen? We smile at someone we may not know, say hello, and look for common ground to talk about. When we discover people who share common interests, we plan activities around those interests. Most importantly, we share work, laughter, and’ accomplishments in ways that help us to understand our friends, ourselves , and the world we live in. We form partnerships in much the same way. First, we look about to find people who share our mission and goals. More than likely, we will have to approach them first, and much like making friends, a smile and a handshake can go a long way to get us started.

Who might we want to partner with?

  • schools, both public and private
  • public libraries
  • community organizations
  • museums
  • corporate businesses
  • nonprofit organizations
  • professional associations (local, state, and national)
  • universities/colleges
  • vocational schools
  • social services
  • local, state, and national government officials
  • Head start programs
  • daycare centers
  • senior citizen associations
  • hospitals and healthcare systems

We want to form partnerships with as many diverse associations and groups as we can to broaden our community base so that our library sevices become a critical, integral’ part of our communities in every state in this nation. The only barriers we face are those we create from lack of vision. Some of the partnerships we choose to engage come about because we have asked the question: “What do our patrons need?” Once we have a partner with whom we share common interests and goals, it is up to us to keep that relationship viable by providing the programs, services, and resources that support our partnerships. Just like friends, partnerships should be forever.

About Paula Griffith

Paula Griffith teaches young adult literature at the University of Houston Clear Lake. She is a member of YALSA's Legislative Committee.

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