Resilient Together: Building School and Public Library Partnerships 2021

Course Overview: 

Are you considering a collaboration between your school and public library to maximize your impact on your community? 

Are you part of an existing collaboration and wondering how to expand? 

In this course, we will explore the many benefits of the school and public alliance to drive equitable access to information, improve community outcomes, and achieve learning goals, with an emphasis on digital partnerships and how library collaborations have evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll learn from the experts how to find partnerships, develop a plan of action, and enact your plan over three weeks through live keynote sessions, an interactive online classroom environment, and live Office Hours with an expert in the field.

The course will follow the continuum of collaboration, from informal partnerships to fully-integrated services, and will take a deep dive into impact and benefits to ensure that you walk away with the tools you need to make the most of your partnership.

In addition, you’ll have immediate access to our Resilient Together Self-Guided Curriculum—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace. Get access to the Self-Guided Curriculum today and join the live guest speaker sessions and workshop starting October 13.


By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

When you attend this interactive course, you’ll come away with: 

  • A blueprint for how to establish or expand your school-public partnership

  • Key tools and resources you need to help you along the way

  • An understanding of the partnering process, including making the case to stakeholders and dealing with budgetary concerns 

This course features live guest speakers in interactive sessions with Q&A as well as self-guided materials, readings, and discussion topics in an online classroom environment to support you in your journey.

Online course features:

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)

  • Instructor-led online event features personalized interaction over three weeks

  • Live Office Hours mid-program to help you sort out your individual challenges

  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums

  • Discussion guides, articles, and other resources shared in the online classroom

  • Access all course content for six months after the event ends

Who should take this course:

This course is excellent for public and school library leaders, school administrators, city/civic officials and literacy leaders.

Certificate of Completion Provided
15 PD credits available

Discounted group rates available

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Please contact us at to learn more about our discounted rates.

Also Available On-Demand!

Can’t make a live session? All sessions will be available to you “on-demand” following the initial broadcast.

Week 1: Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 pm EST

Building Relationships as a Foundation for School and Public Partnerships
As in any good relationship, communication and collaboration are key foundations for building a lasting, mutually beneficial library partnership. In this session, you’ll learn how a school and public library have built and sustained their partnership through communication and connection on both a big picture and day-to-day planning level. You’ll learn best practices for handling operations and come away with ideas you can apply to your burgeoning or more established partnership.
Priscille Dando
, Coordinator, Library Information Services, Fairfax County Public Schools (VA)
Jessica Hudson, Director, Fairfax County Public Library (VA)

Intermission | 2:45-3:00 pm EST

Session 2 | 3:00-3:45 pm EST

Case Study: Lessons From a Long Term Library Partnership
In this session, you’ll hear from a pair of libraries who have been partnering for over ten years on a variety of projects and community initiatives. They’ll share how they began and how they’ve evolved over the last decade to address their community’s most pressing needs, including gaps in internet service, access to materials and other resources, and using physical space in creative ways to support each other.
Speakers: Janet Wile, Supervisor Library Services, Central Unified, CA

Session 3 | 3:45-4:15 pm EST

Getting Started with Strategic Partnership Planning
Learn the fundamentals of strategic planning in this session with John Chrastka and Carolyn Foote. You’ll learn the fundamentals of strategic planning, find out how you can plan on your own if you’re pre-partnership, and how to plan collaboratively if you’ve already found your partner. You’ll learn how to approach planning in a way that prioritizes mutual goals and results in real action.
John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary
Carolyn Foote, Technolibrarian, Westlake High School, Austin (TX), District Librarian, Eanes ISD (TX)

Week 2: Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45pm ET

Equity-Based School and Public Library Partnerships
Learn how a successful partnership helped bring increased equity to the community in this session. You’ll hear how a public library and a school came together to advocate for its youth, increasing access and engagement, and reimagining their school library and its role in student’s lives.
Diana Lopez
, Manager, Marin City Library, Marin County (CA), LJ Mover and Shaker 2019
David Finnane, Principal, Bayside Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy (CA)

Intermission | 2:45-3:00 pm EST

Session 2 | 3:00-3:45 pm EST

Addressing Learning Gaps, Supporting Students, and Beyond
As our communities recover from Covid, library partnerships can serve as integral support systems for students and families. This session will explore how library partnerships are stepping up to help students deal with learning gaps, manage trauma, and return to their schools and libraries in the wake of the pandemic. You’ll also learn about how partnerships are managing differing schedules and timelines, and how they’re dealing with evergreen issues such as continuing broadband access and technological support.
Speakers: Kelvin Watson, Executive Director, Las Vegas Clark County Library District (NV)

Session 3 | 3:45-4:15 pm EST

Public Library CONNECT: Expanding Student Access To Books Through Partnership
This session is sponsored by Overdrive

Students are using technology to leverage public library catalogs directly from the classroom, gaining instant access to curated, age-appropriate collections of digital books. Discover how Public Library CONNECT provides extraordinary success for public libraries, schools and especially students in this eye-opening presentation featuring the Harris County Public Library (TX) and OverDrive. You'll learn the simple steps to activate public library and school partnerships and how these powerful partnerships connect students to additional curriculum and independent reading titles-all without requiring a library card. They'll also cover how to leverage these partnerships to foster the next generation of loyal public library users, drive equitable access to information, increase circulation of juvenile and young adult titles, and achieve learning goals.
David Cooksey
, Digital Library Advisor, OverDrive
Amber Seely, Division Director of Collections & Technical Services, from Harris County Public Library (TX)

Week 3: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 pm ET

Partnerships To Support School Staff
Not all partnerships focus on library patrons and students. In this session, you’ll hear about nontraditional partnership approaches that shift the focus onto supporting school staff and teachers in order to make a difference in students’ lives.
Speakers: Amy Mikel, Director of Customer Experience, Brooklyn Public Library (NY)

Intermission | 2:45-3:00 pm EST

Session 2 | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

How Delaware's Public Libraries Are Partnering With Education To Accelerate Reading and Learning
This session is sponsored by Overdrive

As part of its innovative five-year plan, the Delaware Division of Libraries is working to enhance and expand access to books and educational resources in a variety of formats for readers of all ages. State Librarian & Director of the Delaware Division of Libraries Annie Norman will share how this is being achieved through a new partnership with the Delaware Department of Education that’s putting more books into the hands of more students.
Speaker: Annie Norman, Director of the Delaware Division of Libraries (DE)

Session 3 | 3:15-4:00 pm ET

Navigating Agreements and Contracts: A Panel Discussion
In this nuts and bolts session, you’ll learn everything you need to know about managing agreements and contracts in your school and public partnership. You’ll hear from a panel of presenters on their top tips for organizing library card distribution, managing database and resource-sharing, and more.
Kathy Zappitello
, Executive Director, Conneaut Public Library (OH)
Mary Jo Richmond, Supervisor, Media Services, Frederick County Public Schools (MD)

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