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Services and Resources for Children and Young Adults in Public Libraries
NCES: 95357
September 1995

Working with Other Organizations Serving Children

In addition to offering library-based programs for children, many libraries work with other programs or organizations in the community that seine children. Fifty percent or more reported working occasionally or frequently with other programs, schools, or youth organizations (such as Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts) during the previous 12 months (tables 8 and 9).

  • Elementary schools (76 percent)
  • Preschools (66 percent)
  • Other libraries (61 percent)
  • Day care centers (56 percent)
  • Youth organizations (53 percent)
  • Middle/intermediate/junior high schools (50 percent)

Generally, fewer libraries work with Head Start centers (36 percent), park or recreation departments (24 percent), religious institutions (23 percent), and schools for children with special needs (18 percent). Only 4 percent of public libraries work with shelters, and even a smaller percentage work with detention centers (3 percent).

Cooperation between the library and outside organizations was associated with the presence of a children's or youth services specialist for all but one type of organization. These differences were large. In most cases, libraries with a youth specialist were two or three times more likely to cooperate with other youth-serving organizations than those that did not employ a youth specialist. Only cooperation with detention centers did not show differences between libraries with and without specialists.

Metropolitan status was also associated with a library's likelihood to work with other organizations. Compared with rural libraries, urban and suburban libraries were more likely to work with day care centers (67-76 percent compared with 42 percent for rural libraries), preschools (71 to 76 percent compared with 55 percent for rural libraries), and elementary schools (82 to 90 percent compared with 68 percent for rural libraries).

Finally, the size of a library's patronage was positively associated with a greater likelihood to work cooperatively with day care centers, Head Start centers, preschools. elementary and middle schools, schools for children with special needs, shelters, youth organizations, park and recreation departments, and other libraries.