Successful library leaders in Idaho partner with local and statewide organizations for deeper community impact. Shared visions with an accompanying set of collaborative strategies among thoughtful partners leads to healthy transformations in library customers, families, and communities. This page and linked resource collections will support library directors, library boards of trustees, and program leaders in your investments in partnership design.
Identifying & Developing a Partnership
The generation of a partnership begins with a clear understanding of community needs. As a library staff and board, listen to your customers as they relate concerns, needs, aspirations, and dreams for themselves and for your community as a whole. This needs assessment generates a list of potential issues, topics, themes, and general needs from which a set of partners with expertise and resources related to those needs is created. Conversing with a potential partner is a deliberate endeavor, whether the partner is well known or brand new, eventually resulting in a set of shared goals and strategies or a sense that the timing of the partnership is perhaps for some time in the future.
Community partnerships are possible across many facets of community topical needs: workforce development, education, economic development, basic needs, for example. Partnerships cohere from arts, education, cultural, law enforcement, environmental, social service, and commercial organizations.
Evaluation of a Partnership
As with any library program or service, an intentional evaluation component is critical to success. Evaluating community partnerships follows a typical practice of first identifying agreed upon shared outcomes and the related activities, inputs, and outputs to support those outcomes. A healthy partnership will invest time at reflective moments, starting early on in the partnership, reviewing progress towards outcomes. Evaluation of that progress leads to possible course correction and affirmation of effort. Evaluation also permits partners to reaffirm commitment or agree on drawing the partnership to a healthy close. Sharing out lessons, learnings, and successes with the Idaho library community allows a local partnership example to inform peers in other parts of the state.
The Idaho Commission for Libraries consultants are your thought partners in designing, developing, deploying, and evaluating community partnerships. Give us a call, starting with the contact information below.