I have been trying to reach out more to the community and get more businesses involved in what is going on at the library. I have had many community partnerships but the best one I have is with TCGPlayer.com. They are an amazing local company that has brought so many amazing programs and prizes to my teens.
We have a duel club at the library that is run by a few of my teens and we usually get donations from local comic book/game stores of a few decks of magic cards per year. One of my teens recommended reaching out to TCGPlayer.com and fill out their community donation form. So I did, only expecting to receive a few packs of cards, which would have been amazing. Instead I have received an awesome partnership that proves that any librarian can make connections that will help their library for a lifetime.
TCGPlayer has not only made our Duel Club flourish by donating a lot of different packs of cards for kids that don’t have them but they have put on teaching programs and tournaments for the kids in our town.
My biggest tip is to reach out to companies in your area and tell them how AWESOME your library is but also tell them how much they will make your library that much more AWESOME. There is nothing wrong with asking, the worst that will happen is that they will tell you no. Most companies have a donation form on their websites, if they don’t you could go and speak to their manager in person.
Another time that we use community partnerships to the fullest is right now when we are finishing up our planning of the summer reading program. I went around to all of our local restaurants in town, about 8, and gave them a brief letter describing what summer reading is and how they could help by donating vouchers, coupons, or small toys. It was a huge success, everyone wants to help as much as they can.
It is sometimes uncomfortable going to places and asking for donations for some but my advice to you is just to think about how greatly it will affect the kids and teens that will be participating in summer reading! This year everyone will receive some sort of prize if they are participating in summer reading which is a HUGE incentive for kids and teens to sign up.
If you need any help with community outreach like I have talked about, feel free to reach out to me 🙂