Health Happens in Libraries

Partner Engagement: Clarify Priorities for Partnership

The following considerations can help you articulate your contributions to partner relations and your patrons, whether your library is initiating collaboration with local partners to support Affordable Care Act (ACA) education and enrollment in your community, or if your library is being approached by organizations seeking collaboration. These considerations may largely be informed by priorities established as you undertake community assessment or plan priorities to tell your library story.

Considerations for establishing ACA related partner relationships

  • What are the primary assets that your library can provide to your partners? During previous ACA open enrollment periods, libraries provided space and cross-promotion for partner information sessions, access to reliable computer technology for patrons and enrollment assisters, and evening and weekend hours for increased access.
  • What are your library’s established goals and patron needs related to ACA information support that a partner organization can help fill?
  • What is the unique expertise that potential partners can bring to meet these goals and needs? In the case of ACA, this external expertise has largely been about the details of individual obligations and eligibility associated with marketplace enrollment. It has also included relationships with trained individuals and organizations who can guide individuals through the application process.
  • Does your library have existing partners that can bring this expertise? Or, does your library have existing partners that would also benefit if your library seeks out this expertise? If so, how can they be involved in your partnership development?
  • Who in your library will be responsible for managing the partnership(s)? Effective partner management includes, but is not limited to, considerations such as establishing regular communications, prioritizing resource sharing, creating criteria for success, and documenting a letter or memorandum of understanding clarifying expectations of your library and your partners.

Additional information on effective partner engagement is available at WebJunction's Communications and Partnerships – Tools page. The priorities you establish to monitor and discuss your impact regarding ACA marketplace services can also contribute to your partnership goals.

The Health Happens in Libraries webinar archives also include examples of ways public libraries have collaborated with partners during open enrollment periods.