Partnerships are So Essential… They Define Us as a Community

Josephine Community Library Oregon

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We can all agree that community partnerships strengthen the library’s outreach. Executing this tenet is easier said than done.
Regardless, libraries must take the initiative and collaborate with community stakeholders to fill unmet needs, extend their reach, and create positive outcomes. For Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. (OR), the first step was building a sound infrastructure of support, rather than simply creating another new program.

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Embedding Your Library in the Community: How to Overcome Obstacles and Lead Transformational Change

By Steven V. Potter, Director and CEO at Mid-Continent Public Library

What happens when your strategic plan blocks attempts at innovative programs?
One of the most innovative and community-changing programs I have seen in several years is Career Online High School. The immediate impact of this program at the early-adopting libraries was stunning to me. Clearly, a program like Career Online High School provides a very meaningful answer to that tired old question, “Since everyone has a Kindle, do we still need libraries?”

When I saw Career Online High School, I was amazed but unhappy.I know our strategic plan. I know our key performance indicators. I know our demographics and needs. I know Career Online High School does not easily align into our strategic direction, but I also know we have a diverse population and there are people in our community who could use this program. So that’s the end of the story, right? Not so fast! A program like Career Online High School can be a great opportunity to create a partnership with another organization.

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Career Online High School Going Strong in NJ, Part II

 By Anne Nagrant

On October 6, 2014, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) launched Career Online High School (COHS), at six libraries. Check out Part I to learn how they got started and promoted COHS. Now, I’ll dive further into the program and awarding diplomas.

Selecting Students
It is in everyone’s best interest for the library to find and select students who are most likely to reach their goal of graduating from COHS. Gale provides training to library staff on program requirements and student interview techniques, but ultimately the choice is in the hands of library staff.

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Career Online High School Going Strong in NJ, Part I

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By Anne Nagrant

Last year, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) decided to try something new that would change lives. They heard about an innovative program, Career Online High School (COHS), and they wanted to make it available to their member libraries. Along with my colleague Sarah Withers, I directly help support COHS at NJSL and libraries in this state.

Gale works closely with library staff through the COHS onboarding, with webinars, weekly conference calls, emails, etc. Our team helps the libraries determine their approach to administering the program. We offer training sessions and provide marketing and student recruitment assistance. The library then begins to recruit and pre-screen potential students for the program, while Gale continues to support them every step of the way. On October 6, 2014, COHS launched in New Jersey.

Read moreCareer Online High School Going Strong in NJ, Part I