There have been many great partnerships throughout history – Orville and Wilbur, Hillary and Norgay, the Steves (Jobs and Wozniak), Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ben and Jerry, the Curies, Bert and Ernie, Sherlock and Watson, Katniss and Peeta -just to name a few. These partnerships, whether real or fictional, were formed over like interests and are a testament to what can be accomplished when people work together towards a common goal. Right here in Pittsburgh, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is creating some great partnerships with the goal of literacy throughout the city.
I’m extremely fortunate to be a part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Office of Programs and Partnerships (OPP). Within this department which is housed at the East Liberty branch of CLP, we have a great collection of staff reaching out to a variety of groups in their own unique way, forming partnerships and conducting programs throughout the city to promote a variety of literacies within the community.
The BLAST crew regularly head out to the Pittsburgh Public Schools and related events, connecting with our city’s young readers and future leaders, aiding in early learning and literacy skills.
The Labs @CLP work at providing space and time for teens to connect to new learning experiences via technology. Teens, an often neglected and misunderstood demographic, are able to engage with fellow teens and library staff through unique, technology-centered literacy.
LYNCS, of which I am a member, reaches out to various groups in Pittsburgh to provide a variety of literacies in neighborhoods, communities and schools. We run the gamut of providing pre-school story times, senior citizen technology programs, information and hands-on technology at community events, and financial and job literacy to Allegheny County Jail inmates alongside our colleagues from the various neighborhood branches. In addition, the LYNCS crew has managed a temporary, pop-up library in the neighborhood of Allentown, bringing library services and programming to a community lacking easy access to our neighborhood branches and their services. Over the past year and a half that we have been in this temporary setting, we have had the pleasure of working with great community partners to provide access to library services, unique programming and a community center for this often neglected and little known Pittsburgh neighborhood. A great result of the partnerships formed with various Allentown and other Hilltop groups, has led to the pop-up library transitioning to the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center (ALEC), a project which would not have been possible without the partnerships formed with our community neighbors.
The entire staff of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is working to reach out to all of the city neighborhoods, not only through library services and programming within the neighborhood branches, but also through a variety of outreach initiatives encouraging literacies beyond its brick and mortar locations. We are happily building new partnerships, whether it’s at the circulation desk or in a city park, not just during this National Library Week, but every day of the year.