Combined School/City Libraries: Everyone Wins

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Presented by Lindsey Hansen & Linda Holmberg as part of the Big Talk From Small Libraries conference on 28 February 2012.
http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/bigtalk/

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  • LINDSEY- Welcome….introduce self as the City Librarian in Centerville, South Dakota LINDA –Introduce self
  • LINDAFirst , let me tell you a little bit about our library and how our Community Library came to be!!Population of Centerville- is about 900, enrollment in the school is 217 now. About 20 yrs. Ago a city meeting was being held to discuss some of the towns strengths and weaknesses. It was brought up at that time that the public library was in need of some improvement and that thelibrary should be moved to a different building. Around the same time the school had a state review, the school library was recognized as being inadequate. Even jeopardizing if it would be accredited. The public library was in a room at city hall and the school library was nothing more than a small card catalog with a few shelves of books. The elementary had a small shelf of books in each of their class rooms. There was no central located library.Picture on upper left and lower right.
  • LINDSEYNow the city starts looking into improving the public library and they decided they needed a different building . Parents and school board have the results from the school state review and want to do something about their library being rated inadequate.Now we have our public library looking to move to a new place so it can improve and we have the school board and concerned parents wanting a change with the school library. Somewhere out there someone suggested that the public and the school join resources and form a library together.
  • LINDAPeople are now talking the Idea is out there to form a city/school libraryLINDSEYWe all know how small towns can be, most of you listening today are from small towns, so once people heard about the idea being brought about the possibility of combining our public and school library, it spreads like wildfire, mostly at first, like with any change, people were voicing their NEGATIVE concerns(Negative concerns Linda and Lindsey click back and forth)LINDAOthers are talking, SOME ARE excited about the idea and start to think about the possibilities and opportunities that a combination library could bring to our community.(LINDSEY/ LINDA positive comments in more excited voices :0)
  • LINDSEY1 SERVICE POPULATION This combo works well in smaller communities. Ones that have a small public library and only 1 school (k-12 school)2 REVIEW STRATEGIC PLAN, LIBRARY SUSTAINABLE-Look 5-10 yrs down the road, what does the future of your library look like?-If you have a well established public library with lots of support maybe this is not an option for your community- I do want to stress that this is not a “Lets throw the public library into the school and save some money concept” -But if the future of your small town pubic library is questionable then maybe this is an option work looking into, maybe your small school library needs you too! Talk with your current school library and finding out their future plans. 3. SCHOOL/CITY LIBRAIANS OPEN TO THE IDEA4. SCHOOLBOARD AND CITY COUNCIL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE SUPPORT5.CONSENSUS OF COMMUNITY6 ENOUGH INTERESTED TO DO THE RESEARCH-If you do not have the people out there willing to do the research and take a serious look at this option it will not go very far, which leads us to talk about forming a library committee
  • LINDALets take a look at who should be involved on this committee2. Involvement from city/School librarians is important. 3. School Administrators4. City Council Members5. School Board Members6. (Community members) Lawyer, grant writers, library users parents with children, people with different view points.These are the people you want to reach out to, to be on your committee.
  • LINDSEY1-DO THE RESEARCHTake notes on what worked and didn’t work for the combo libraries you are visiting, your state library can help you get in contact with the right people2. COMMUNITY INPUT*No internet at the time when our combo library was being formed but now it could be used as an important resource to get the word out there, e-mails, create a project website that is monitored by the combo library committee members, have a place where people can leave feedback, create on-line polls, this is a place to post the research you have done, the facts and the plans that are forming. This keeps the community updated on the progress. It is very important that with all the rumors that go along with any big community change that there is a place with accurate information that people can look at. 3. THIS IS WHERE YOU REALLY WANT TO GET OUT THERE AND LET THE COMMUNITY KNOW ABOUT THE BENFITS FOR A PUBLIC AND CITY LIBRARY4. They did use mailers here when they were doing research in the past be sure to include your School alumni, your public library users, teachers and students in the school. I would also encourage you to reach out to the people who do not use the public library at all and get their feedback as well
  • LINDA-Its really important that from the start you are trying to get the Community's buy inYOU WANT YOUR CITY COUNCIL AND SCHOOL BOARD ON THE SAME PAGE, LOTS OF COMMUNITCATIONGAIN THEIR BUY IN FROM RECIVEING FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM AREA BUSINESSES, LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, PERSONAL DONATIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, & ALUMNI4.Make people feel like it is “their” library. The more you make the community aware of your plans and get their input, the better. More community involvement you have the more likely it will succeed.
  • LINDSEY-1. Now that your committee has been working hard doing their research and gaining the support of the community its important to listen to what the people want. These are some of the things that stood out in our case2.They wanted a new building onto the school, they did not want to use a classroom room within the school that they would have to walk thru the school to get to. This would mean a separate public entrance that goes right into the library3.A separate adult section that the school children are not in during the day, with computers that are assigned for adult use only4. MEETING ROOM 5. Expanded Hours- at the time the public library was only open a few days a week with limited hours like 1-4 pm and a few hours on Sat. The public really wanted a library that was open some evenings during the week6.PUBLIC RESTROOMS- NOT USING THE SCHOOLS RESTROOMS7. These were some of the specifics about the physical building that we feel contributed to our success. Separate entrance right into the library I think was key. ALL OF THESE specific WANTS WENT INTO THE BUILDING PLANS. Again its important that the public knows their ideas are being heard
  • Specifics the school wanted. CENTRALLY LOCATED LIBRARY All materialsin one place, easy to get to. Handicap accessible. Books for pleasure and research. LIBRARY SKILLS OFFERED Learn how books are arranged, different genres, how to look for a book, how to use computers, etc…. EXPOSURE TO LIBRARY ATMOSPHERE Some had never been in a library setting before, what manners used in a library. PREPARE STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE College information available, also act testing materials, ged,etc… ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY Catalog online. Web based. Similar to what they would find at college.
  • LINDSEY 1Big question on everyone's mind????? CITY USED GRANT $ The state library can help direct you to find grants etc2. SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY $3. MEMORIALS AND DONATIONS In our community with regards to donations, there are plaques hanging in the entrance to the library that list the community members and business supporters. We have a plaque with a Statement out there that thanks the contributors and it states our towns slogan “ Centerville, where YOU make the difference” May seem like little things but some of those little details are what makes people feel like its “their” library, just as they are walking through your doors. 4. Now that you have thought about the funding for the startup and building costs you need to think about budgeting for the future this is where you will work out these details in a written contract.
  • LINDAPeople ask us all the time do we have a written contract?, we do! They laid out the ground work with a lawyer, created a legal document that both parties signed. These are some of the important things that they put in the original contract that we feel make us successful. How the library would run, money budgets. Our contract was made in 1993????? So keep in mind that things may come up after the contract is made that need to be worked out. An example for us would be that in the early 90s when our contract was written, wi-fi was not something that we put into our contract. You deal with the issues that come up later with lots of communication, cooperation, and common senseYour library board helps with creating your policies. We feel some may fail because no contract or specifics is in place. We also feel in our situation 2 librarians are important, some only have 1, we feel that this would be difficult to provide excellent service to both public & school patrons. (the amount of work to be done!!!!) especially need extra help for extended hours.
  • LINDA STARTSLINDSEYA lot of this boils down to common sense. Keep the lines of communication open to the city council and the school. Its easier to keep the communication open from the school side because you are attached to the building. But as a suggestion to keep your city council in the loop, write up a monthly report at the end of each month, have this report handed out at the city council meetings.
  • LINDA1. Here are some pictures of our physical building that was built onto the school. Tell about each.LINDSEYReview,Is a combo library needed in your town for the sustainability of the library, what does the future of your library look like? More resources, more hours, more programs, more technology, Remember that the community library will allow you to be open more hours and is often the first place that people who are new to your town or thinking about moving into your town see! Our library has gone from being seen as a weakness in the school and community to now being one of the biggest strengths of our community!
  • LINDSEY1.So who should be on your library board? It should be in your contract that there needs to be a separate library board2. Representatives from the city council3. Representatives from the school board4. Representatives from the community 5. City and School Librarian should be present for meetingsAt our library, city council assigns a member to the library board and they take turns and rotate members, same with the school board, Community members rotate turns as well - Look for those that are supporters of the library, maybe there are people in town who are particularly good at writing grants, maybe there is a lawyer in your town that might take a turn on the library board
  • Linda1. On these pages we want to just give you some ideas on how we continue to keep the public and school involved in our library.Anytime the library offers a reading incentive program to the students, the public is invited to join in as wellLINDSEYWe invite the public to participate in all special events, programs, activities, make it a community event.We post these events in the Centerville Journal, our weekly newspaper, we have a library news column where we keep the community up to date about what is going on at library. LINDAThe summer reading program that is funded by the city during the summer gets donations from the local arts council, which allows us to bring in more special programs. We get prizes donated from library supporters and local businesses, This keeps kids and parents in the library thought-out the summer.
  • LINDSEYWe remain visible in our community, we have a float every year in the homecoming parade, and the Christmas parade of lights LINDAWe have artwork that the students work on in their art classes on display at the library, it’s a great way for the students to show off their work to their parents, grandparents and the general public and it gets more people in the library. On the public side we have displays from local artist as well.LINDSEYWe do a concession fundraiser at school sporting events, usually about two events a year, where all the proceeds from the concessions go into a special account that we can use to buy things like library bags, magnets and pens with our name on them that we hand out to the public. LINDAWe have an annual Christmas open house, coffee & cookies throughout the day, special entertainment in the evening and a silent auction. We encourage everyone to come, especially those who haven’t been to our library in a while. All silent auction items are donated so it is pure profit. We have a raffle item that is given away, This year someone was generous and donated a hand crafted quilt.LINDSEYEvery year we have a holiday home tour, 5 families open up their homes to be on our tour. Registration to go on the tour is 5$ X-Mas Santa ornaments
  • LINDA top red portionLINDSEYWe do not want to leave you with the impression that we know it all, because we don’t. We would be happy to answer any of your questions that you may have and help you if we can. We hope you took away some ideas from our presentation that could be useful in your library.
  • Combined School/City Libraries: Everyone Wins

    1. 1. Everyone WinsBenefits of having a School/ City Library under one roof and how to make it work for your community. Lindsey Hansen City Librarian Linda Holmberg School Librarian
    2. 2. Community Meeting -Public Library recognized as a community weaknessSchool State Review -Recognizes the school library as inadequate
    3. 3. -City searching for a different building for the Public Library-Parents from School District discuss condition of current School Library-Suggestion made to build a new city/school library
    4. 4. Others Are Talking! Idea is now out there to form a Community Library No need to There will be Where will duplicate Who’s SPACE MORE going everybody materials Now the to pay for to access park? anymore! library will Our Library havejust material and this! is room to host resources! There would fine!! It’ll be too SPECIAL be two I don’t want to noisy in PROGRAMS! budgets to there with all walkthink the Just through buy more Library will be those kids!!! the school to materials! able to be open I hope there get to the MORE Hours! will be a place library! for Won’t it be GREAT to organizations bring adults & to meet! students together!
    5. 5. -Service population-Review Strategic Plan-Is your library sustainable?-School/City Librarians open to the idea?-School Board/ City Council provide support, staff,and funding?-Consensus of community that a combined libraryis the best way to meet everyone’s needs?-Enough interested to form a committee to do theresearch?
    6. 6. - Public Librarian & School Librarian-School Administrators-City Council Members-School Board Members-Community Members (with/without children)
    7. 7. -Do the research, find other combo libraries in communities that are about that same size, visit them.-Community input, surveys, town meetings, mailers, internet-Let the community know the benefits of a combination library for the public & school
    8. 8. -City Council and School Board on the samepage.-Receive financial support from areabusinesses, local organizations, donationsfrom members of the community & alumni.-The more the community getsinvolved the more successful thelibrary will be.
    9. 9. -Build a new building onto the School-Separate public entrance & handicap access into the Library-Separate adult section-A meeting room available for organizations-Public restrooms available/not schools-Expanded Hours
    10. 10. -Centrally located Library-Recreational & Resource Materials-Library Skills Offered-Exposure to Library Atmosphere-Prepare students for college-Access to Technology
    11. 11. -Federal Grant/City-Capital Outlay Certificates/School-Memorials & Donations/Community You need your school board and city council to work out budget details in a written contract
    12. 12. -Need to have a written contract!!!-Lawyer write up legal document-Money/Budgeting-Contract states the need for a library board-Two full time librarians one city employed/one school employed
    13. 13. Cooperation & Commitment!-We have a community, “one program” approach, not two separate programsthat share the same building.-We created an environment that, young children, teenagers, young adults andolder adults feel comfortable in.-We understand our roles as both the school and public library-We share the role of library director, no “Mine vs. Yours” mentality-We have the support of our library patrons, city council and school board.-Financial support comes from all three of the groups mentioned above
    14. 14. OurCommunity
    15. 15. -Representatives from the City Council-Representatives from the School Board-Representatives from the Community-The City and School Librarian should be presentfor the meetings
    16. 16. For the YOUNG, The OLD, And everyone in BETWEEN!!!!
    17. 17. All Together, Everyone Wins!
    18. 18. We have a shared purpose!We believe that having a combined library, has more benefits for our community members and students Every town has unique issuesBe in contact with your state library, they are an excellent resource!

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