Building Community Relationships for Better Library Services
Explore strategies for finding community partners and building relationships with them with the goal of truly working in collaboration with people they serve.
This event has passed.
Many libraries are increasingly focused on planning library services collaboratively with their communities. Connected Learning, Participatory Design, and Community Led-Libraries are becoming standard practice, but to successfully embark on that work, the first (and ongoing!) thing library staff need to do is build robust and meaningful connections within their communities. In this session, we explore strategies for finding community partners and building relationships with them with the goal of truly working in collaboration with people they serve. We discuss strategies for small rural libraries up through large urban systems. You'll hear from library staff who have successfully started doing this work in their own communities with partners who serve all ages. You'll also learn about the importance of this work and why it needs to be supported by administrators and supervisors.
- Sara White, Youth Services Consultant at the Washington State Library
- Stephanie Zero, Operations Manager at Crossroads Library, King County Library System (WA)
- Elissa Burnley, Associate Director of Strategic Planning and Evaluation at Mid-Columbia Libraries (WA)
- Rachel Beckman, Teen Services Librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries (WA)
- View Webinar Recording (You will be prompted to sign in to our free Course Catalog.)
- View slides (pdf)
- View chat (xls)
- View captions (txt)
- Learner Guide (doc) Use alone or with others to extend your learning.
- Partnerships & Collaboration topic area on WebJunction
- Recommended books
- Ask, Listen, Empower: Grounding Your Library Work in Community Engagement by Mary Davis Fournier. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2021.
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021.
- How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong. New York, NY : Hachette Go, 2020
- Meet 100 People: a How-to Guide to the Career and Life Edge Everyone's Missing by Pat Hedley
Greenwich, CT : The Path Ahead, 2017
- Young Activists and the Public Library: Facilitating Democracy by Virginia A. Walter. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2020.
- Community-Led Libraries Toolkit, Working Together Project
- ConnectedLib Toolkit: Community Centered Services
- Cultivating the Relationship-Driven Library, Let's Move in Libraries
- Eight Ways To Find And Land Valuable Partnerships For Your Nonprofit, Forbes
- OCLC Community Engagement
- OF/BY/FOR ALL
- Project READY: Building Relationships with the Community
- White Supremacy Culture
- Brainstorm Community Partners using Community Asset Mapping
- Additional links shared in chat
- Community Leader Interview Guide
- FirstHealth’s Tiniest Patients Take Part in Second Annual Read-a-thon, local hospital NICU who leads an annual read-a-thon reached out to partner with the library
- January 30, 2024 WebJunction webinar, Building Authentic Relationships with Underserved Communities
- Inspired collaboration : ideas for discovering and applying your potential, by Dorothy Stoltz
24 October 2023
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]
Webinar presenter Sara White
Webinar presenter Stephanie Zero
Webinar presenter Elissa Burnley
Webinar presenter Rachel Beckman
13 December 2023
04 January 2024
30 January 2024
22 February 2024
27 February 2024