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