school libraryThough it might feel like summer reading programs just started, fall is right around the corner. (Yikes! How did this happen?)

That means it’s back-to-school planning time for public schools. And for libraries, late summer is the perfect time to offer resources that support educators and school libraries. With so many school districts and teachers feeling stretched, collaboration between school libraries and public libraries is more important than ever. Here are a few ideas to boost support of local schools and position your library as a key community resource.

Tabling at School Events

Many parents will say that the days leading up to the First Day of School are packed full of events that draw students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. From open houses to extracurricular fairs and PTA drives, most school districts host at least a few big events in late summer.

Contact local schools and ask if you can set up a library table. It’s a great way to build community, increase exposure, and let students, parents, and teachers know about the many resources you offer. Of course, you’ll want to do a bit of investigating to make sure you present the most relevant resources, such as books on curriculum lists, library card signups, study guides, and more.

Offer Read-Aloud Programs

We all know that teachers’ time is already limited. Libraries can help by offering in-school, read-aloud programming to younger grades. Collaborate with teachers to choose books that relate to topics taught in class, and that help bring those subjects to life.

You may also work with teachers to choose books that support social-emotional learning. After the disruption of the last few years thanks to the pandemic, many families are still struggling. Choosing books that relate to specific challenges students face can help kids cope while sparking a love of reading.

Coordinate on Assigned Reading

Work with curriculum directors to stay abreast of assigned reading lists for the upcoming school year. For schools with underfunded (or non-existent) libraries, offering copies of assigned books for students to check out — both physically and digitally — can be a huge help.

Curated supplemental reading lists may be another welcome offering. You can develop lists and send them directly to teachers. This makes their job easier, helps mitigate budget shortfalls, and encourages students to use the public library. Win-win-win!

Bring the Library to the Students

One of the best ways to support your local schools? Bring the library to the students. AutoLend Libraries make it easy.

These convenient devices do it all. Patrons can browse, borrow, return, and place holds on a diverse range of materials, from books to DVDs, audiobooks to picture books. AutoLend Libraries can fit into almost any space, whether it’s a bus stop or a community center foyer. Despite their small footprint, AutoLend Libraries can hold up to 450 items and even provide a WiFi hotspot. They can even be customized with graphic wraps to attract more students!

Want to learn more about these innovative tools? Contact International Library Services for more information.