CIL Notes: Building Community Partnerships

Someone who knows you is less likely to slash your budget.

–Kathy Dempsey

Kathy Dempsey of library marketing blog The M Word provided a breathless list of ways libraries can connect with various stakeholders within the community. There was a noted lack of computers discussed in this talk, but I think the principles can easily be applied to the online world.

Key principles: Ask anyone and everyone. Keep your name out there. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.

I think it’s pretty straightforward. Of course, actually summoning the gusto to make it happen is a different matter entirely. But that’s my own ongoing struggle.

Raw notes (naturally) after the jump.

Building Community Partnerships

25 ideas in 40 minutes

Kathy Dempsey

Libraries Are Essential

The M Word blog

Notes are in the handout packet

Partnerships can help keep you solvent.

Chamber of Commerce/Speakers Bureau

“Someone who knows you is less likely to slash your budget”

Storytimes in grocery stores (!)

Target support staff of major stakeholders – be their best friends, and the support will trickle up.

Flower shops – be their friends, place bouquets in library in exchange for publicity

(what other venues can you use for this purpose)

IT experts


Community people for programming

Scout troops – work for badges

gardens, bookshelves

game stores, skateboard shops (what can you trade for?)

Cheaper stuff, street cred

Existing clubs (see Meetup, other sites)

Create local happenings in between big conferences – keep it specific to immediate needs

Major orgs (AARP, for example) – get them to provide visibility in exchange for recognition

Ask. Ask. Ask. Everyone, everywhere, everything.

Senior centers – what can you get in return?

Book sponsors

Guest bloggers


Advisory boards – transparency, once again is key

DLK’s guide to facebook

It’s not “if you build it, they will come” – the it has to be the connection, not the platform.

Lack of context outside of the bubble – tell them what seems most obvious to you

Build, exploit, continue connections. Remember Jamie LaRue’s pyramid of support.

Don’t be afraid to have fun

“There are more PLs than there are McDonald’s.” Really?

Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.

exploring the intersection of libraries, technology, and community

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