Nonprofits are everywhere. Wherever you are located, it's likely that there are numerous nonprofit organizations at work in your community that you've never even heard of. In 2009, the Hayward (Calif.) Public Library merged with another city department and took on the city's community grants program. They found that in this city of 150,000 there are over 2,000 nonprofit organizations!
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Together, Area Agencies on Aging and Councils on Aging constitute the public infrastructure designed to support America’s older adults. As such, they are natural partners for public libraries seeking to develop programs that lead communities “on the path to healthy aging,” as the ALA Health Literacy Toolkit puts it.
The Connecticut State library's Health Library Initiative is one of the our Division of Library Development (DLD) Strategic Focus Plan "Seven Literacies" — a key element of the Division's LSTA Five Year Plan. The initiative consists of strategic partnerships; ongoing health webinar offerings; professional development workshops, and online health and wellness resources.
Just over a year ago, my branch of Baltimore County Public Library started doing monthly outreach visits at the Charles Hickey School at the Maryland Juvenile Detention Center for Boys. We do regular outreach to all the other schools in our area, we thought; why not bring library-led reading and discussion to this one, too?
As part of our research in this phase of the National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA), we developed and administered a survey designed to give library workers an opportunity to talk about their experiences in partnering with community organizations.
Libraries of all types are taking on new roles and responsibilities. Through robust programming agendas, they’re at the center of community-building efforts all across the US. As they do this important work, libraries are increasingly forging partnerships with different groups and institutions within the communities they serve. Working with schools, churches, healthcare providers, and a variety of other organizations, they’re creating joint programming to directly address people’s needs.