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Cocktails & Coloring

Attendees coloring the mural

The Pottsboro Area Public Library prioritizes events that create buzz in the community, enhance our image as an innovator, and build relationships with businesses and other partners. Our recent Cocktails & Coloring event accomplished all three.

These goals are important because we have reimagined the library’s role in our small town and have to fight the image of what the library used to be. We like to surprise people.

Health Programs through Partnerships: A Case Study

nlenstra's picture
Woman rolling up yoga mat

New research by a San Jose State University scholar finds that most health programs offered by a major U.S. public library system are developed through community partnerships. San Jose Public Library not only works with partners to develop programs offered at the library, they also participate in regional health campaigns. Keep reading to learn how they do it, and to get inspired to try something new at your library! 

Roll-n-Read

Children listening to storytime

Our library has partnered with our local Wood River Parks and Recreation Department to offer a weekly children's program for kids (ages 5 and younger) that combines gymnastics and motor skills with literacy.

The library provides staff and a story for storytime; the parks department provices the gymnastics equipment and space for the little ones to play. 

Breaking through the Busy: Tips for Getting the Students Who Already Do Everything

klewallen's picture
Students sitting around a lunch table

“Students are too busy nowadays.” I’m sure we’ve all heard it. So here are a few tips — from my own experience and crowdsourced from other very helpful librarians — to break through the haze of busy-ness and reach students.

Creative Engagement with Youth

Continuous Line Monster art project

This six-session pilot program encourages creativity — and interest in library services — for elementary- and middle school-aged children through open-ended art projects such as Watercolor Resist Paintings and Continuous Line Monsters.

We offered this program in collaboration with the organization Phoenix Family, which provided us with access to their existing after-school program and art supplies.

Nourishing a Community: Mechanicville Farmers Market, Garden & Orchard

A booth at the Farmers Market

In June 2017, the Mechanicville District Public Library kicked off a community farmers market on the library’s front lawn. Throughout the summer, on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m., hundreds of people came to stock up on vegetables, pasta, eggs, honey and other goods from local farms.

For a community with a 16.3 percent poverty rate, a market delivering fresh, local goods at affordable prices was a game-changer, and it also gave local farms an opportunity to sell their products.

Can-Unity

Model of building, made from canned and non-perishable foods

On Saturday, July 22, we hosted a Can-Unity building event to wrap up our summer library program. The summer's theme was architecture, so we thought it was fitting to end with a community building event.

The night before, local organizations created incredible structures made entirely from cans, boxes and bags of nonperishable food items. Participating organizations gathered and donated all of the food that was used in building their structures.

College & Me

Students taking notes in class

College & Me is a multi-series offering — provided in partnership with the local Utah State University Extension office — that provides a comprehensive view of how individuals can prepare to attend college. Open to teens and adults, the class covers basic steps to searching for scholarships and financial aid, along with some application tips and FAFSA best practices.

3 Ways to Build Partnerships at Your Small Library

Two people working at laptops

There are plenty of reasons for libraries to collaborate. Partnering with other organizations and people increases your resources, increases your reach, promotes creativity, models teamwork for others, and helps your community work toward common goals. Lest we forget, libraries have a lot to offer our partners, too; we are trusted, well situated for exposure and usually pretty competent in marketing our programs and services. 

Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset: Lunch & Learns and More!

Selfie of participants in walking group

Winterset is a community of 5,120 in central Iowa, about 40 miles outside Des Moines. Since 2011, a number of our local organizations have collaborated to present Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset, a program series that strives to improve the health and wellness of our residents. Programs run from early May to late October and are free of charge and open to all ages.

A Tale of Two Organizations: Talking about Affordable Housing on the Lower East Side

nypl's picture
graphic of city buildings

A brief look at the history of New York City’s Lower East Side (LES) reveals that this little patch of land has always been an area ripe for intense debate. The portrayal of the neighborhood in books, film and other media is constant — the romance, horrors and bitter struggles. The LES is a place of rare historical significance, a community that has inspired generations of activists, radicals, advocates and new Americans to envision a better future.

Get a Jump on Spring with Gardening Programs at Your Library

nlenstra's picture
hands holding soil with plant growing out of it

For public libraries and community partners across North America, February is prime time for gardening programs. There are many types of gardening programs you can offer, and many partners you can work with to develop them. 

A quick survey of the gardening programs being offering this February and March in North America reveals that libraries are offering:

Swap It Like It's Hot

woman holding jeans

Swap It Like It’s Hot is a free clothes-swap program aimed at adult patrons. Patrons bring along their gently-used clothing and receive tokens. They use their tokens to swap for others' items. All remaining clothes after the swap are donated to the city mission. 

The library also offered sewing and upcycling workshops in collaboration with Conscious Layers, a local organization that works to popularize the re-use of fashion.

See What I'm Saying

Three children sitting down and looking at books

See What I’m Saying was a children’s program that promoted reading, writing and public speaking skills in students in kindergarten through grade 5.

The program took place on Saturday mornings over a nine-week period at our county’s Civic Center (since the library doesn’t allow food). At each session, kids were invited select a book, read the book, write a brief report about it, and share their report out loud to a group.

Partnerships: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

lishizaka's picture
A man and a woman shake hands over a table

Our last blog post — in which we assessed our community's needs and set out to create a health and wellness program series for older adults — ended with a good idea, lots of enthusiasm ... and approximately zero dollars. How were we going to fund this fantastic smorgasbord of health, wealth and self-care program opportunities for the 55-and-older crowd on the Peninsula?

Partnering with Academic Institutions for Health and Wellness Programming

nlenstra's picture
Group of people walking toward a campus building

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 4,360 colleges and the universities in the United States. More likely than not, there is a college or university close to you — and partnering with them is a great way to bring high-quality health and wellness programming to your library.

Big Programs, Little Budget: Forging Community Partnerships in a Small Town

Meservey, Iowa, is tiny — fewer than 250 residents —  and the library’s budget is tight. Despite this, the Meservey Public Library has managed to triple its program attendance in the past few years and create many memorable, budget-friendly events. 

Drawing on her experience as director of the Meservey Public Library, Chelsea Price will share ideas for hosting "big" programs on a small budget and discuss how partnerships can be an invaluable resource for programming. 

Participants of this session will:

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