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Serving the public libraries of Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren & Washington counties.

Building Community: Using Your Personal Interests to Create Partnerships

July 23rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

Some of you might not know after I leave work,  I head for the gym, a running trail or hop on my bicycle.  My passion for libraries, the outdoors and fitness has lead to some outreach opportunities for SALS and our member libraries.
As a member, and President of the Saratoga Stryders  I have  formed strong personal relationships and networks with people throughout the Capital region.  I meet new runners and walkers, fitness related business owners, and race directors from non-profit organizations every week.    During small talk and basic introductions, I get to explain my job as a librarian and system consultant to them.  This usually leads to a discussion about their local library.  When the library is in the SALS region I  mention staff names and current services thus moving the conversation away from me and on to the wonderful things your library provides to your community.

Over the past few years, I have been volunteering for the Special Olympics NY Silks and Satins 5K race as a traffic marshal and creating goodie bags for the runners.  This year, the group needed a new home for the goodie bag “party”.  Having volunteered for this event, I knew the space needs for the group – a parking lot, a place to pull up a box truck, a long “board room” table set up, a kitchen and bathrooms.  SALS was a perfect fit.  I was pleased that we were able to partner with the Special Olympics and the Saratoga Stryders.  Over 30 volunteers came to SALS to get ready for the race; I was able to explain my job and SALS services to a curious group of philanthropists.

Building community does not have to be difficult.  I took something from my personal life and brought it into my “work life”.  As a community partner, SALS provided building space.  In return, over 900 volunteers and racers are wearing a shirt with our System name:

So do not hesitate to take your passions and personal interests and bring them to your library and always take advantage of telling people what you do!

 

Tags: Outreach

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 sara // Jul 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Nice post, Jennifer.

    I am a proud member of the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club. Although I am not as physically active as you – I bring the library viewpoint to the club. In fact, I wore the shirt to the Rotary Board Meeting last night.