Working Together for Library Outreach 9 mid-size to large-scale events. In my experience, burnout usually happens when one or two persons have responsibility for a disproportionate number of the tasks necessary for putting on a program or when someone is trying to “do it all” or “go solo.” To avoid overworking any one individual, plan a fair division of the work that is needed for hosting the program. As the planning team moves forward through a planning timeline, make sure everyone on the team has a chance to celebrate small and large victories along the way, whether it be receiving a small monetary donation for the program or the signing of a contract by an author that has been recruited for the program. Every program requires planning to implement it for best results. IDENTIFYING LIBRARY PROGRAM PARTNERS IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES Step Five in planning sponsorship of programs that promote African American writers is to identify potential program partners. How can librar- ians get to know their communities and discover the types of library pro- gramming that will be welcomed and enjoyed or that generates interest in African American writers? To start the process, identify potential program partners or community members who can provide invaluable input. Of course, one can always learn facts about a city or town where a library is located simply by reading through some of the census information and local government data. Official data is available for K–12 public schools and col- leges and universities. One can also find official information about a local economy, such as its businesses and industries. But in my opinion, there is no substitute for getting out in person and exploring the physical and social terrain of one’s community and talking with people. In addition, libraries and librarians can use social media to network with their communities. Regardless of method, it’s always important to get out and meet and talk directly with people within communities. There are many formal ways to conduct community analyses such as sur- veys, focus groups, and social media analytics. These formal ways may require staffing and are sometime expensive and/or time-consuming. Some persons of an organization or institution interested in doing programming may want to conduct what is called an “environmental scan.” These formal means of learning about trends, opportunities, and threats affecting library communities are worthwhile and often necessary. Supplement the latter, however, with word-of-mouth communication and networking, which may be just as beneficial. “Coffee chats” with key leaders or representatives from the community and other informal conversations are a good option for find- ing out what’s happening in the community and to discover persons or groups to partner with for programming. Following are some ideas for developing partnerships with two vital con- tact groups: 1) students and other youth, and 2) civic and community
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