Areas for School Library Partnerships

There are three main areas for developing school library partnerships. Most partnerships offer support in sustaining or enhancing school budgets for library resources. The resources needed for the school library must be identified. After the needs have been identified, the appropriate community supporters can be approached. For limited financial support, grants and donations are available. Local community foundations or businesses can provide funding for the libraries. Target Department Stores, Walmart and Loew’s Supply Stores are examples of businesses that offer grants for school libraries. For the Walmart grants, the school library must be within a ten mile radius of the store. Target stores provide funding for the renovation of facilities and books. Loew’s provides for materials to store collections and materials for beautification projects. Local businesses are eager to support school libraries. The advantage of using grant funds is that the resources remain at the school level.

Another area involves using volunteers effectively. Volunteer pools can be created from parents, community service groups and service learning sectors in businesses, colleges and universities or community agencies. School boards and public library trustees, advocates and foundations can join partnerships to share staff and volunteers in creative ways.

The third area is innovative projects with public or academic libraries or groups within the local community. An excellent example of this practice is the partnership of the Kalamazoo Public Schools and the Kalamazoo Public Library to provide all first grade students with a public library card.

In your opinion, which area offers the most potential?

Reed, Sally. Amalgamating for Advocacy. American Libraries. Volume 40 Number 3 March 2009 Chicago: IL.

Rogers, Lelia. No Budget? Build a Community of Library Supporters! Library Media Connection. Volume 32. Number 2. p. 22.

Solutions and Services. American Libraries. March 2009


4 responses to “Areas for School Library Partnerships

  1. I think that the most potential lies in the partnership between public libraries and schools/school libraries, particularly in reference to the Common Core Standards being rolled out in most states. CCS will require the students to “demonstrate independence and perseverance; to construct arguments, and comprehend, critique, and support with evidence; and to use resources, strategies, and tools to demonstrate strong content knowledge.” (Albanese, 2013). A large importance is placed on research, nonfiction, and literacy, putting librarians in a prime position to be a resource for teachers and students.

    For example, my library has partnered with Toledo Public Schools to offer intensive storytimes aimed at students in grades K-2. These storytimes explore topics that are already being covered in class, and include both a fiction and nonfiction story. This serves the dual purpose of supporting the teacher’s efforts in the classroom and familiarizing the students with the librarians who can help them at the library. Thus, a symbiotic relationship is born where both entities help each other to meet their goals. Teachers use librarians to support the research aspect of CCS that is new to many students, and librarians use teachers to meet students and create social bonds that will lead the student to future library use.

    Albanese, A. (2013, February 5). For Libraries, the Common Core Presents Extraordinary Opportunity. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from

    • The recent conference of MAME(the Michigan Association for Media Education) just emphasized your points about schools and libraries joining the implementation of the Common Core Standards. I like the idea of mixing the genres of fiction and nonfiction at an early age. This will create a balance for students at an early age.

  2. The partnership between schools and libraries is the most important partnership. If kids are shown what a library offers at a young age, they will then stay loyal to libraries when they get older. This will assure libraries have a continued patron base. This support then could lead to partnerships with companies for grants and call for volunteers.

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