Community Partnership Program

PARTNERING IS A STRATEGIC TOOL:

Williamsburg Regional Library collaborations with community partners strengthen the library's ability to fulfill its mission and helps the library  meet the needs of all members of the community.  The library's partnerships:

  •  flow out of the library's mission and vision
  •  are a library-wide strategy
  •  are centrally coordinated
  •  are a formal process

DEFINITION OF A PARTNERSHIP: Libraries have collaborative relationships with many community entities. To acknowledge the importance of all library-community relationships, but to differentiate between the levels of library-partner involvement, the Williamsburg Regional Library has defined the term "partnership" to include four types of relationships: glances, dates, engagements, and marriages.

GLANCE: any overture or contact between the library and a community group.

DATE: an agreement between the library and a community partner to accomplish a specific short-term activity or commitment.

ENGAGEMENT: an agreement between the library and a community partner to work together toward a marriage after an initial experimental phase. Engagements are temporal: they either evolve into a marriage, dissolve, or downsize to a date.

MARRIAGE: a formal agreement between the library and a community partner with compatible goals, to share the work, share the risk, and share the results or proceeds. The library and the community partner jointly invest in resources, experience mutual benefits, and share risk, responsibility, authority, and accountability. Marriages are formed for the long-term benefit to the partners.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS:

*Businesses
*Civic Groups
*Nonprofit organizations - local, state, national
*Schools and colleges
*Libraries
*Government agencies - local, state, federal

REASONS TO USE THE PARTNERSHIP TOOL:

*Reach new library users
*Reach current library patrons in a new way
*Tap into community assets and strengths
*Gain support for library resources/programs
*Gain valuable feedback
*Create new library resources

From Partnering with Purpose (Libraries Unlimited, 2004)

For more information about the library's partnership program, please contact

Janet Crowther, Outreach Services Division,  jcrowthe@wrl.org, 757.259.4066