Community Engagement Overview

Outcome

The community is strengthened through the active facilitation and/or participation by the library in efforts to gather input, engage in meaningful discussions, and act in partnership to support community-wide growth and transformation. Library affiliates (friends and/or foundation organizations) are aligned to strengthen the connections between the library and the community.

Overview

The community is integral to any decision made concerning library operations. Libraries and communities have an interdependent relationship. Communities provide funding, opportunities to collaborate and advocate for the library’s work and role in meeting community needs. Libraries contribute to the economic health of the community, collect the memories of the community, and provide a place where people can explore, learn, access resources, share ideas, and be transformed. The library is also an asset that can be of great value when communityaddressing community-wide issues and opportunities.

The Library Governing Authority and staff search for opportunities to cooperate with other community organizations, including other libraries, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector in order to embed librarians and library services in the community and ensure healthy communities that understand the value of libraries.

Library staff uses many means to reach out and partner with the community in order to stay knowledgeable and engaged. In addition, opportunities for community involvement within the library are available to volunteers. Cooperation may include sharing of resources, staff expertise, training opportunities, or other joint activities. Staff representation in other community organizations is essential in complying with this standard.

The library has a friends group and/or a foundation that assists the library with fundraising, advocacy, and outreach in the community. Resources from these organizations supplement rather than replace the library’s operating budget.


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