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?
Small and rural libraries that received funding from ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative often developed conversation series that built on previously established partnerships and existing programming.
Community engagement is a key component to the work of all library types. In fact, knowledge of the community is one of the 9 Core Library Programming Competencies as identified by NILPPA (the National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment).
Through our evaluation of ALA's Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative, we’ve seen libraries reach out to their publics to assess needs, host discussions about pressing issues, and expand their roles as community centers.
It can be hard to reach new segments of your community with the library doors closed. How can your library use the community partnerships you already have to reach patrons during the pandemic? What new community relationships can help you promote library offerings during this difficult time?
For the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library (GCPL), one of the answers has been food banks.
Document your Story: COVID-19 Pandemic Project Archive brought together three community organizations to collect and preserve material created during COVID-19 from many different perspectives. This project has collected material from a variety of community members, such as local artists, diarists, the local business community, Muncie citizens, and Ball State University students, faculty and staff.
As a child, I was very curious, annoying my family with my constant questions. In adulthood, that curiosity led me to librarianship. I am constantly trying to learn new things.
Libraries are key to expanding people’s curiosity, not just about the world, but about each other. For your library to truly be open to all, a place where everyone is welcome to learn about each other, you need to engage all segments of your community — not just those that you are intrinsically a part of.
According to America Walks, “good health is not the only benefit of walking. In fact, there is a broad range of individual and community benefits that accrue when people walk more often and when communities are designed to make walking safe, enjoyable and convenient.” The benefits include safe neighborhoods, healthy communities, social equity, environmental sustainability and even improved economies.
This month, two Michigan public libraries — Pontiac and Pinckney — acquired basketballs, footballs, baseballs and other sports equipment that can be checked out from the library for a two-week period, marking the beginning of Project Play: Southeast Michigan.
Of course, all that equipment does no good if it just sits on the shelves, so libraries are working with partners, in particular local YMCAs, to offer active play programs that show patrons how to utilize the new collections.