You Can Do It: Successful Partnerships (Fall 2014)

working together photo by woodly wonderworksIn this interview YALS Editorial Advisory Board member, Nicola L. McDonald, talks with Hennepin County Library’ Youth Services Coordinator and YALSA Board member, Maureen Hartman. The two talk about why partnerships are important, how to make them happen, and some successful examples.

NM – How would you define partnership and how can library services, particularly teen services, benefit from partnerships?

MH – I’ve heard a lot of talk about “collaboration” vs “partnership.” In my head, a partnership is something more formal than a collaboration, but I often use them interchangeably, which is probably incorrect. I define them both as an opportunity for the library and another organization to mutually benefit from a joint undertaking ‘ working together to maximize the resources of both organizations and reach a goal they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own. Libraries in general, but especially teen services, benefit from these partnerships because the library can’t do everything well ‘ we need to cultivate, nurture and rely on partners to reach audiences we wouldn’t already serve, to create services that patrons see a need for but that we don’t have experience with, and to share resources in the community with our patrons.

NM – What are two of the most innovative partnerships you’ve been a part of, how did they develop, and what made each successful?
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YALSA’s Virtual Town Halls: Be There! And Bring Others Too (Winter 2013)

yalsa forum on libraries and teens logoAs mentioned in a previous post, the winter 2013 issue of YALS includes an article about the National Forum on Libraries and Teens that YALSA is sponsoring this year. The first part of the forum was a face-to-face summit that took place for two days just before ALA’s Midwinter Meetings for 2013. A small group of attendees were invited or accepted to that summit. But now, YALSA is sponsoring a series of virtual town halls to give more library staff and stakeholders the chance to talk about the future of teen library services.

The first virtual town hall is just a week away and will take place on March 19, from 2 to 3 PM eastern. The theme is partnerships and the conversation will focus on the following questions:

  • Why are partnerships are important to library teen services
  • What are the opportunities for library staff and stakeholders to support teens through partnerships?
  • What do successful partnerships look like?
  • What is required of libraries and stakeholders to move forward in partnerships in order to serve teens into the future?

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