Partnering Toolkit

Download the print version (PDF) or view the web version.

Created by Community Connections Taskforce
May 9, 2017

About the Kit

This toolkit was created by a task force of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). YALSA would like to thank the members of the task force, who include: Dina Schuldner (chair), Rachael Bohn, Derrick Burton, Markita Dawson, Billie Moffett, Bill Stea, and Adrienne Strock.

One of the best ways to enhance services, specifically teen services in libraries, is through partnerships. Partnerships on behalf of teens lead to the development of effective programs, services, and materials that help teens thrive.

Before choosing partners, libraries must make an assessment of their teens’ needs, determine their libraries’ assets, and consider the assets of proposed partners. Once a partner is identified, a relationship must be established, goals have to be set and agreed upon, and the program or service needs to be implemented, all the while nurturing the partnership relationship. An evaluation needs to be done after the program or service is implemented to determine if the partnership needs tweaking and if it’s worth continuing.

With partnerships, sometimes funders from within the community also become part of the mix. Funders can help programs and services become realities in the library when funds are required beyond what the library budget can provide. Funding can be found through in-kind donations, grants or sponsorships from local businesses or organizations, and from a Friends of the Library group, if yours has one. Reaching out to find the optimal donors, sponsors, and grant opportunities is key, as is being highly responsible with the funds you receive.

Throughout this toolkit are resources that will help you at each stage of the partnership or funding experience. At the end is an appendix of turnkey materials that libraries can adapt to their own needs and use immediately, as well as a list of relevant YALSA resources.

Use and Reproduction of the Kit

YALSA’s Partnering Toolkit may be reproduced under “fair use” standards. As stated in Section 107 of The Copyright Act of 1976, factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

Sample Citation

Community Connections Taskforce. “Partnering to Increase Your Impact.” Young Adult Library Services Association. May 9, 2017. Young Adult Library Services Association, Web. [insert date accessed by user]. [insert exact URL of the toolkit].

For more information about acceptable use of YALSA’s toolkits and resources, please contact ALA’s Rights and Permission Manager at


  • Introduction
  • Rational for Forging Partnerships
  • 10 Steps to Partnerships
  • Identifying Funds
  • Appendices