Public and school libraries can make a powerful impact on their communities when they work together. In 2018, the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation created the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit to provide suggestions for creating these partnerships.  

Here are three impactful ways public libraries can support school libraries: 

Reach out to local school media coordinators 

Arrange for in-person, virtual, or pre-recorded visits to share information with students about the public library and all that you offer.  Ask to do a brief presentation at a PTA meeting to discuss library card sign-up, summer reading programming, and preventing the Summer Slide. Parents need to hear what you have to offer, too! 

Encourage students to get public library cards 

Share library card sign-up forms or directions to online sign-up with schools. When I worked in a school as a media coordinator, I was always surprised by how many of my students didn’t have library cards. Often the students were shocked to learn that library cards for our local library were free! 

Promote the public library’s summer reading program  

Reading during the summer months helps prevent the “Summer Slide” that students experience. Provide materials to school media coordinators to promote your public library’s summer reading program to help avoid summer learning loss. Encourage families to come to the library at least once a week over the summer to refresh their reading pile. 

If your library subscribes to Library Aware, use our templates to get the word out about resources and events from your local public library! Library Aware already has templates promoting Summer Reading and Library Card Sign-Up Month. We also have a great flyer about preventing Summer Slide. Or you can get creative and make your own promotional materials using the Library Aware templates and images. 

Is there anything else we can do or create to help you support your partnerships with school or public libraries? Let us know

Brierley Ash is a Metadata Librarian at NoveList.  She is currently reading The Conductors by Nicole Glover.