Friday, April 10, 2015

Howdy Pardner! School Public Library Cooperation

Working with colleagues in public libraries or schools is a great way to serve our youth community better. It can seem daunting if you don't have a relationship started but once you do, the possibilities are limitless!

On Tuesday, March 24, YSS and WEMTA partnered to present a program at the WEMTA conference in the Dells called Cool Tools to Work with the Public Library. Presenters Sonja Ackerman, from Franklin School District in Wausau, a WEMTA and YSS member teamed up with YSS member Marge Loch-Wouters from La Crosse Public Library to explore the many ways we can work together across school and public library lines.

Some of the ideas that can work for both public and school librarians:

  • Anytime is the right time to start.
  • Get out there and meet your counterpart in the schools or public library(remember, phone calls can be challenging for both since our busy times and quiet times are exactly the opposite; use email).
  • If you are having a difficult time making the connection, get intro help from a board member or "connected" parent.
  • Offer "teacher cards" without fines for classroom materials or consider checking out deposit collections to classrooms or asking the public library for these.
  • Offer to drop into classrooms 2-3 times besides SLP visits to support literacy and reading (or invite the public librarian to do this).
  • Do collaborative shared programs - "Kids Read One Book", share author/illustrator visits; winter reading programs.
  • Send a quick email newsletter to teachers and visa versa. Sharing information makes a huge difference for both!
  • Visit the public library at least once a year/invite classes to library from the school annually.
  • Find out if the library is doing early literacy intiatives like 1000 Books Before K and support them by telling school families to get their preschoolers involved.
  • Libraries are very involved with SLP - encourage students to get involved.
  • Support library programs to students. Children have their school libraries for only 12 years. Their public library they can have for life. Your support of the public library and celebration of both school and public libraries strengthens you both.
If you are a WLA member, you can attend the WEMTA spring conference at WEMTA member registration costs. With a full schedule of exciting programs, it's a conference all youth librarians in public libraries should consider attending. Hope to see you next year!

No comments: