Begin Building Partnerships for Early Learning at Your Library Today

Liz Morris /

Cross-sector collaboration is essential to support sustainable community outcomes. This principle continues to take hold in the library field and beyond, through efforts like the Community Catalyst Initiative led by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), or models such as collective impact that are being explored and embraced in communities nationwide.

Intentional collaboration among libraries, museums and early childhood services has the potential to yield incredible impact for kids and families, particularly in the critical area of early learning and for families that may not have regular access to these beneficial institutions.

Recognizing this potential, and building off of recommendations in the powerful Growing Young Minds report from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and IMLS, the BUILD Initiative facilitated a year-long process to connect library, museum and early childhood leaders in co-developing strategies for stronger partnerships.

The result? An incredibly accessible toolkit that can help you (yes, YOU) forge more effective partnerships in support of early learning in your communities today. The toolkit is organized around three key sections, and has tools and resources to support your efforts in:

  • Developing relationships and shared interest
  • Understanding and articulating opportunities for share benefit
  • Designing, implementing and assessing strategies and action plans

The toolkit also provides essential context about the very real barriers and challenges that many young children and their families face in accessing high-quality early learning opportunities. If you're ready to make the case to your board, city council, funders or partners about the essential work your library does to prepare kids for success, or are looking for ways to extend your efforts through collaboration, then make sure to download the toolkit, explore its contents and get going today on the practices most relevant to your role.

If you've used the toolkit in your work and would be willing to share your story with the WebJunction community, please contact social@oclc.org today. We'd love to learn more about your experience with this fantastic resource!

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