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NHLA conference highlights

When discussing how great the recent conference in Bretton Woods was at the Seacoast Co-op meeting this morning, I remembered that I had promised to post the collective wisdom gathered at the program on libraries and community relations.  Hope that you find these ideas as worthwhile as I do!

How to create and sustain positive Library and Community Relations

  • Need to educate town government—
    1. Newsletter for town department
    2. Making pertinent statistics available on a regular basis
    3. Showing a cost/benefit ratio for services
  • Use Event-Keeper and link it to town departments.
  • Put library information on light bills, water bills, town notices.
  • Do you have equipment another department could use, e.g. a typewriter?
  • Give complimentary copies of books to stakeholders, target audience.
  • Create a community contacts book, with web contacts when available.
  • Have a brochure of services for newcomers.
  • See if you can help realtors create a “Welcome” kit for newcomers.
  • What to do if there are less-than-perfect relationships with town departments—
    1. Show appreciation
    2. Ask advice
    3. Invite them to your library or to co-sponsor events
    4. Ask them to judge a contest
  • Attend/participate in department meetings and communicate library happenings.
  • Be a librarian OUTSIDE of the library.
  • Join a service organization.
  • Serve on a town committee.
  • Teach people how to use databases that will help them in their work (e.g., “LearningExpress”).
  • Purchase locally when possible.
  • Ask to be a speaker for your library at various organizations.
  • Host a non-profit showcase.
  • Hold a candidates’ night.

Respectfully submitted,
Judy Haskell 

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