Partnerships are the secret ingredient of our library. Like the way sugar makes a cookie taste good, but cinnamon and sugar makes a cookie taste like heaven — libraries are great, but pair a library with a school and you can rock the world.
From children’s programs to workforce development, a pinch of collaboration has the power to bring the whole community together. Here’s a taste of some of our powerful partnerships in Josephine County:
- Gilbert Creek Child Development Center on Highland Avenue in Grants Pass partners with the library to provide Sensational Storytime and thematic book-bag delivery services to home-based childcare providers.
- Through Southern Oregon Early Learning Services, the library is promoting a new mobile phone application called Vroom. (Click here to learn more and download the app.)
- Grants Pass School District 7 worked with the library and the Boys and Girls Club this summer to bus children to the library every week for the Summer Reading Program.
- Sunny Wolf Charter School uses the Wolf Creek branch as their school library. Children’s reading scores have increased significantly over the past three years since this partnership began and helped make Sunny Wolf an A+ school in Oregon.
- The library has joined forces with Josephine County Public Health and Southern Oregon Education Service District to host Big Fun WIC Day at the libraries in Grants Pass and the Illinois Valley once a month. Some of the families who have visited the library through this program have never been to a public library.
From WIC Certifier Melinda about this partnership: “The clients really enjoyed Big Fun WIC Day at the library. The kids were excited; they loved the scavenger hunt and the seed planting activities. The library is a very kid-friendly place, there were lots of volunteers helping out, and lots of activities for them. The parents were involved, taking their kids back and forth to the various places in the scavenger hunt. Almost everyone was happy and smiling. It was a very positive experience. It was more like a fun outing for everyone. I feel WIC was able to offer a much more well-rounded experience to clients using the library’s activities, resources and other programs.”
- Josephine County Master Gardeners offers the Young Master Gardeners program monthly through the libraries in Grants Pass and Illinois Valley. These one-hour free lessons feature hands-on earth science activities with books for free checkout.
- This October, Worksource Oregon will offer National Career Readiness Certification through the library every Monday morning as an extension of their services for the community and library patrons.
There are many more impressive partnerships among our community agencies; both savory and sweet, adding just the right blend of warmth to our library. The folks who nurture these partnerships know how much work goes into bringing everyone to the table for a common goal. I’d venture to say these partnerships are so essential to who and what we are that they not only flavor our lives, they define us as a community.
has been the executive director of Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. since 2010. She holds a master’s in education and serves on the Oregon Library Association Legislative and Development Committee. In April this year, she was honored by the with the Ole award which annually recognizes an Oregon public library employee who has displayed exceptional effort and excellence.