By: Carrie Fishner
For the May online NMRT discussion, we posed the topic of “Collaboration: how can libraries collaborate or partner with other entities to provide programming and/or services”. The discussion led to many great examples of what different types of libraries have tried, and what worked well. We did not get into what did not work, but that might be a great future discussion topic.
Some of the examples that participants shared were as follows (sorted by public/academic):
- Mental health screenings with Campus Health Services/Counseling
- Therapy animal visits in the library with Counseling/Health services and/or Vet Sci programs
- Creating campus depositories for things such as archiving materials, creating permanent digital links for student work/projects, and IR information
- Libraries as space – art displays working with art faculty and clubs
- Working with public and academic libraries to do join programs; working to have similar themes to programs in both locations
- Digitizing public library resources using the campus resources
- Libraries as space for programs and meetings with outside constituents of the community
Some of the main takeaways from last month’s discussion were that you have to be open to trying new things. Do not discount an idea just because it has not been done that way before! Reach out and ask if someone is willing to work with you; the worst that can happen is they will say no, the best outcome is that they will be excited to collaborate with you and this will create a stronger relationship going forward. Just by asking, you may find someone who has great ideas, but needed help with the resources to make them happen. Seeing libraries collaborate with other groups and organizations (both academic and public) helps to show how relevant libraries are, and how we are a bridge for ideas across disciplines.
Please, take a look at the NMRT listserv for the full emails which detail some of the examples given above. We hope to hear from you in our next online discussion!