Challenge Monday: School Outreach

It’s the first Monday of the month, which means time for a new Challenge Monday topic! This month we’ll be talking and thinking about outreach to schools. These questions are from a public library viewpoint. If you’re a school librarian, please feel free to chime in with your perspective as well. Here are some things to think about in regard to school outreach:

  1. What schools are in your community? Consider public schools, private schools, homeschooling co-ops, alternative schools…
  2. Do your local schools have certified school librarians? Any library staff? No school library?
  3. What services and programming are offered at the school library?
  4. Who else at each school could you partner with besides the librarian or library staff? Consider technology specialists, counselors and career centers, teachers (especially English or Language Arts teachers), student activities advisors. There may also be district-wide staff who would be good partners.
  5. When are school breaks, holidays, and other days off? When are finals? When are standardized tests?
  6. What requirements do students need to graduate? What are typical pathways for students after high school?
  7. What and when are the major school activities? Consider sports seasons, school plays, talent shows, activities fairs, career fairs, dances, late nights, etc.
  8. Does your library offer any special services to local students? Either specifically for them (ie. tutoring, special library cards) or that would be useful for students (ie. databases)?
  9. How do you stay informed about what’s going on in your local schools? Consider signing up for mailing lists, reading the school announcements, getting the school paper, joining the PTA listserv or Facebook group, etc.
  10. How do you or can you publicize library programs and services to students?

Leave your comments below or jump over to our Facebook group to join the discussion. We’ll be rounding up the major points at the end of the month.

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