How Libraries Support Nonprofits
Local libraries are immersed in their communities and, in many cases, will work with and support non-profits on a local and national level to bring about impactful change. There are many non-profits located in your local community that benefit from the resources and support that libraries provide. Libraries have a lot to offer-just look at the endless stories of library and non-profit partnerships that have emerged throughout the years.
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Nonprofit Resource Centers
Oftentimes, libraries host a nonprofit resource center for community organizations to utilize. The Central Library in Denver has resources curated specifically for nonprofits on the third floor of their library. Resources include books, periodicals, and databases that touch on funding, grantmakers, and a variety of community resources that help connect, enhance, and grow nonprofits. The library also has connections with the Colorado Nonprofit Association which is a great starting point for new nonprofit organizations to look to for guidance. The library has also compiled best practice guides and information on important nonprofit related topics like IRS status and filing as well as grant writing and creating funding proposals.
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The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also provides a collection of free resources for area nonprofits to access and learn from in their nonprofit resource center. The information they have compiled touches on nonprofit management, funding, and grant seeking. All of this information is accessible through their free databases and directories which serve as powerful and comprehensive research tools for those looking to get started or improve upon their nonprofit organization. Just a few of these resources include Foundation Maps which provides data on global philanthropy and Guidestar Pro which helps nonprofit organizations research and analyze financial data. Along with a robust digital resource collection, the Carnegie Library also provides print resources like books on proposal writing, nonprofit management, and community and economic development.
What’s great is that these print and digital resources can be integrated with free and fee-based programming offered by the library. This monthly programming helps nonprofit organizations become familiar with library resources and offers the expertise of professional consultants to cover topics like social media marketing, volunteer management, and developing nonprofit boards.
Stories of Nonprofit Support
There are plenty of examples where libraries have come to the aid of nonprofit organizations. In metropolitan areas of Atlanta and Baltimore, libraries partnered with Vision to Learn, a national nonprofit that provides healthcare to local, underserved youth. Specifically, they focus on making sure youth in the area are able to see properly by providing vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses. Many times, these partnerships are formed when libraries reach out offering support. Check out this local news segment for a look into how this program has operated in Baltimore County Libraries.
Libraries have also been at the forefront of helping provide health and wellness resources to their communities. It is not uncommon to find libraries bringing in health professionals and offering screenings and education to the community in partnership with nonprofit organizations focused on improving community and national health.
Public librarian Kathleen Moore sought out nonprofits that educated and held conversations about infant mortality. She mobilized the Dayton community to participate in these important health conversations on pediatric health in partnership with the community centers in the area. She even had the opportunity to give a keynote speech at the 2018 Association for Library Service to Children Institute.
Recently, libraries have also provided fundamental support in the global health crisis. The Cleveland Clinic Library and OhioLINK were able to contribute to funding in STEM research that is imperative to learning more about COVID-19. The Cleveland CLinic received 23 grants and was able to publish almost 500 publications on the virus using resources provided by the local library.
In addition to services and support provided by libraries to the health and wellness nonprofit sector, there are also examples of libraries working with a diverse range of nonprofit organizations to support early literacy, low-income communities, and education among many others. The Malverne Library in New York partnered with Mothers of Malverne (MOMs), a local nonprofit that supports and connects new mothers. Their goals of providing opportunities for children and family to learn and connect aligned perfectly and the library has been an important contribution to MOMs meetings since the 70s. Prince George County Libraries in Maryland is working with Operation Warm to help distribute books and winter coats to children in need throughout the area. Coats were accepted by curbside drop-off and offered at library branches across the community. They expect to collect over 700 coats for distribution.
Core Community Supporters
Libraries have always held pivotal roles in moving communities forward and helping them through difficult times. Whether nonprofits reach out to libraries for support or libraries offer help, important work gets accomplished whenever these partnerships occur.