New Library Directors Handbook

Community Relations

Working with your community to build a better library is important. You should get out of your library, either by speaking at local civic clubs, joining the Chamber of Commerce or by helping other local groups. Getting out of the library helps you meet non-library users who may be able to give you ideas on how to make the library more welcoming for them. When you give presentations about the library, take bookmarks, flyers, etc. with you. It gives you the opportunity to sell the library, and it means people will take something home with them.

When other local groups (gardening clubs, etc.) are offering programs, help them out by providing bibliographies or having displays in the library. You might also loan them book collections. Ask your community's special groups for specific assistance in promoting a project or program. Be sure to offer them help when they need it. In these times, communities must work together. You can help each other out and in doing so help improve community relations.

The public library should try to work with the school system. We're all aware of times when teachers assign homework without realizing the effects on the library (public or school). If you work with the school librarian and the school's teachers, together you can create a better environment for students. You can offer to visit classes, give library tours, or help out with special teacher loans of materials and reserves. You should also consider working with parent groups.