Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Including 66 focused snapshots of outreach in action, this resource reflects the creative solutions of librarians searching for new and innovative ways to build programs that meet customer needs while expanding the library's scope into the community. This contributed volume includes

  • A huge array of program options for partnering with other community groups
  • Outreach in action through writing essays, poetry, and fiction
  • Event planning for library anniversaries, book festivals, science projects, and student athletes

With a wide range of contributors, this book will give you a multifaceted approach for reaching out within your community.

Foreword by Kathy Barco



Part I A Sampler of Outreach Programs

1 Bake a Book and They Will Come by Iona R. Malanchuk

2 Establishing a Library Docent Program by Mary H. Nino

3 Friends in Need: Involving Friends of the Library in Community Outreach Programs by Vera Gubnitskaia

4 Lifesaving Library Outreach by Felicia A. Smith

5 Planning a Library Anniversary Celebration by Mary H. Nino

6 Reading Matters in Mentor: Library Ser­vices at the Pools and Beaches on Ohio's North Coast by Lynn Hawkins

7 Small Grants Can Have Big Rewards by Chelsea Dinsmore

8 Using a Digitization Project to Produce a Book for Community Outreach by John R. Burch Jr.

9 Using Pilot Projects for Outreach by Chelsea Dinsmore

Part II Senior Outreach in Practice

10 Beyond the Campus: Information Literacy Instruction for the Senior Community by Susan M. Frey

11 Memoir Writing for Older Adult Groups by Mark Donnelly

12 Outreach to the Senior Community: One Library's Activities by Bob Blanchard

13 Sí Se Puede! / Yes We Can! by Meryle Leonard

14 What Boomers Want: The Future of Outreach by Ellen Mehling

Part III Youth Outreach in Practice

15 Better Than One: Collaborative Outreach for Homeschooled Teens by Catherine Fraser Riehle

16 Children's Initiative: Establishing a Successful Partnership with a Local Public School System by Vera Gubnitskaia

17 Hundreds of High School Students Study at the Library by Tiffany Auxier

18 Reaching Out to Create Outreach Programs among Teen Library Patrons by Maryann Mori

19 Reaching Out to Student Athletes, Two Students at a Time by Maureen Brunsdale

20 Teen Theater at the Public Library by Licia Slimon

21 Teens Will Respond by Maryann Mori

22 Upward Bound Outreach to Talented High School Students by Jamie Seeholzer

Part IV Correctional Facility Outreach

23 Freedom Readers in a Juvenile Correctional Facility by Felicia A. Smith

24 Has Your Public Librarian Been to Prison? Participation in Summer Reading Games by Glennor Shirley

25 Has Your Public Librarian Been to Prison? Participation in Shared Grant Projects by Glennor Shirley

Part V Special Collections

26 Breathing Life into the Circus Collection by Maureen Brunsdale

27 Bringing History to the People's Fingertips: University of Florida Digital Collections and Historical Florida Newspapers by Melissa Shoop

28 They Didn't Teach Me This in Library School: Managing a Library Art Gallery by Karen Brodsky

Part VI Using Local Media to Reach Out to the Community

29 Lights, Camera, Libraries by Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

30 Partnering with a Local Newspaper to Digitize Historical Photographs by John R. Burch Jr.

Part VII Success with Book Festivals

31 Michigan Reads! Statewide Outreach Project by Christine K. Heron

32 Books That Shape Our Lives: A Community of Readers by Jan Siebold

33 Collaboration Creates a Successful Regional Low-Vision Fair by Bob Blanchard

34 One Community, One Story by Florence M. Turcotte

35 SOKY Book Fest by Uma Doraiswamy

36 University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries and the Common Reading Program by Melissa Shoop

Part VIII Classroom Outreach

37 Academic Connections: A College Librarian Reaches Out to a Middle School by Margaret Keys

38 Integrating Manuscripts into the Michigan Curriculum through Archival Outreach by Marian Matyn

39 Public-School Teacher Workshops Conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Mervyn H. Sterne Library by Delores Carlito

40 Secondary Classroom Instruction in Birmingham by Delores Carlito

41 Teaching American History: Archivists Partnering with Public Schools by Sharon Carlson

42 A Different Kind of Science Project: A Partnership between a Community College Library and a High School Media Center by Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

Part IX Diversity Outreach

43 Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros by Meryle Leonard

44 Documenting the Experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans: Archivists Partnering with Oral Historians by Sharon Carlson

45 Ethiopia Reads by Loriene Roy

46 Homework Club for English Language Learners by Licia Slimon

47 If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything: A National Reading Club for Native Children by Loriene Roy

48 Laptop Literacy: Language and Computer Literacy Ser­vices to Refugees in Burlington, Vermont by Barbara A. Shatara

49 The Long Journey to Vermont: Immigration, Cultural Identity, and Book Discussions That Build Community by Barbara A. Shatara

50 Outreach to the Russian-Speaking Community in the Arapahoe Library District by Katya B. Dunatov

51 Outreach to Newly Enrolled African American College Students by Jamie Seeholzer

52 Serving Multicultural Patrons at the Arapahoe Library District by Katya B. Dunatov

Part X Community Group Collaboration and Outreach

53 Community Groups Join Forces for Family Fun by Tiffany Auxier

54 Connecting with the Community: Partnering to Deliver a Storytime Outreach by Margaret Keys

55 Creative Partnerships with Local Orga­nizations by Ellen Mehling

56 Dinner with the Presidents: Teaming Up with the Yours Truly Restaurant Chain by Lynn Hawkins

57 Faraway Places by Uma Doraiswamy

58 Fostering Community Engagement through a Town and Gown Lecture Series by Susan M. Frey

59 A Friend in Need: Partnering with an Employment Center by Elaine Williams

60 Guest Reader Storytime: Fenton Area Outreach Project by Christine K. Heron

61 Local Artists-in-Residence at Your School Library by Jan Siebold

62 Partnering for Lifelong Learning: A Unique Collaboration by Catherine Fraser Riehle

63 Partnering for Dollars: Using Grant Opportunities to Build Community and Provide Programming by Karen Brodsky

64 Partnering with a Local Park or Historical Agency by Florence M. Turcotte

65 Partnering with Your Local Historical Society by Elaine Williams

66 A University Library Reaches Out to an Entire Community by Iona R. Malanchuk


Afterword by Edith Campbell

List of Contributors


Carol Smallwood

Carol Smallwood received her MLS from Western Michigan University and her MA in history from Eastern Michigan University. She is the author or editor of numerous books for Scarecrow, McFarland, Libraries Unlimited, Pudding House Publications, Peter Lang, and others. Some other credits include The Writer's Chronicle, Journal of Formal Poetry, Detroit News, Instructor, English Journal, and Michigan Feminist Studies. Her novel, Lily's Odyssey, appeared in 2010; she coedited the anthology Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages (2009), and she has a short story in Best New Writing 2010. A 2009 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award Winner and a finalist for the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award for prose, she has experience in school, public, and special libraries and has served as a library consultant. Smallwood appears in Contemporary Authors, Who's Who in America, and is a member of the American Library Association. She received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

"Success always requires resources, dedication, and much planning, but even the smallest library with a handful of staff could benefit from this book. Wherever there is a need to increase awareness of library services in the community or reach out to groups that are underutilizing your library, this handbook can be useful."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Should be at the hand of every concerned librarian."
--The Midwest Book Review

"The book makes a strong case for the benefits of collaboration, backed up by specific projects and quantifiable results ... For libraries contemplating new roles in their communities, this will serve as a useful brainstorming tool."

"Perhaps most helpful is the candidness with which article authors share their approaches. Many provide some kind of 'outline' describing the steps for implementing the outreach program along with specific details about the content of the program. The contributing authors are also refreshingly honest in describing what did not work and they offer hard-earned advice for how to avoid mistakes they made. As a whole, the book convincingly illustrates the vital and vibrant role libraries can and do play in connecting and bringing together their communities in beneficial and life-affirming ways."
--Public Libraries

"Contributors range from academic librarians to public librarians and school librarians, bringing a wealth of skills and experience to this book ... The book hits home the fact that, despite the wonderful ideas we might have for events, programmes, the library exists to serve the community; and as the community transforms due to changes in immigration policies, increases in house prices, job availability and an aging population, the library services must change to match the needs of the community."
--Australian Library Journal

"The value of this book is the inclusion of all types of libraries so that readers will not be constrained by the type of library or audience and may design their own outreach programs using these templates for any library. It behooves libraries of all types to market their services, and library outreach is an excellent way to meet that objective. This book provides examples of outreach programs that any library can adapt to its own needs. It is a good addition to every library's professional bookshelf."
--Public Services Quarterly