4. Consider Partnerships

During the planning phase you will want to consider developing one or more partnerships with local organizations such arts or arts education centers, community centers serving older adults or special interest groups representing older adults. Your creative aging programs can benefit from community partnerships in a number of ways.

Community Partnerships
© Diantha Dow Schull
  1. Partners can help promote the program to potential participants, including those who may not already be library patrons.
  2. Partnerships can foster understanding of the library as a resource for positive aging and arts education in your community.
  3. And, partnerships can be helpful for sustaining your programs, through advocacy with local public or private funding sources, through collaborative fundraising, and/or through direct support.


Be imaginative in your thinking about what organizations might be appropriate partners. Friends groups and senior centers are obvious, but you may be surprised by the results of outreach to such groups as housing associations, local clubs, churches, civic groups, industry-related retiree groups, local arts councils, community colleges or parks and recreation agencies.

Case Study:

 Reflections on a Lifetime: Writing & Collage, Town of Pelham Public Library

Further Reading:

Assessment and Evaluation | Transforming Life After 50. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2013, from http://www.transforminglifeafter50.org/tools-ideas/assessment-evaluation

Buckley, R. V., & Leonette, C. M. (2007). Let’s talk about partnerships. Pennsylvania Library Association Bulletin, 62(9), 10–13.

Characteristics of Successful Partnerships Between Libraries, Schools, and Community Agencies, Carol A. Brown. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/cbrown.htm

Community Empowerment Manual, Second Edition – Partners for Livable Communities. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2013, from http://livable.org/livability-resources/reports-a-publications/534-community-empowerment-manual-second-edition

Community Led Library Service Development | Infopeople. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2013, from http://infopeople.org/training/community-led-library-service-development
http://www.hyperarts.com, H. W. D.-. (n.d.).

Partnerships and Collaborations. Transforming Life After 50: A Resource for Libraries. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from http://www.transforminglifeafter50.org/tools-ideas/partnerships

Kretzmann, J. P., McKnight, J., Northwestern University (Evanston, I. ). I. for P. R., & Northwestern University (Evanston, I. ). A.-B. C. D. I. (1993). Building communities from the inside out: a path toward finding and mobilizing a community’s assets. Evanston, Ill.; Chicago, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University ; Distributed by ACTA Publications.

Lowe, S. S. (2001). The Art of Community Transformation. Education and Urban Society, 33(4), 457–71.

Schull, D. D., & Thomas, S. (2006, August). Planting the Seeds of Community. Museum News, (4). Retrieved from http://www.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=-1573756009&page_url=//www.aam-us.org/pubs/mn/MN_JA06_schull-planting.cfm&page_last_updated=2010-02-27T14:50:42&firstName=Selma&lastName=Thomas

Stories for Change: Leadership Examples of Expanding the Arts to New Audiences. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/foundation/StoriesChange_FinalDigital.pdf

Turner, N., McKnight, J., Kretzmann, J. P., & Northwestern University (Evanston, I. ). A.-B. C. D. I. (1999). A guide to mapping and mobilizing the associations in local neighborhoods. Evanston, IL; Chicago, IL: Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University ; Distributed exclusively by ACTA Publications.

Welcome Stranger: Public Libraries Build the Global Village. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.urbanlibraries.org/filebin/pdfs/Welcome_Stranger_Full_Report_08.pdf

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