The purpose of this policy is to provide staff with the necessary guidelines to assist them in the identifying, prioritizing and developing partnerships with community agencies, and to inform the public about the principles and criteria by which these decisions are made.
“Community Partnerships” are defined as a formal arrangement between the Kingston Frontenac Public Library and one or more community partners in which all partners are working together to achieve identified, shared goals to benefit the community.
“Collaborative relationships” are defined as the informal sharing of information, knowledge and skills between partners, and with partners’ patrons and clients.
“Community Partner” refers to not-for-profit groups, agencies, institutions, businesses and other organizations within Kingston and Frontenac County, or at a provincial or national level.
4. Guiding Principles
Library Partnerships Statement
Community partnerships and collaborative relationships make it possible to design and deliver unique, highly needed services that meet the needs of our community.
The Library welcomes requests for partnership from the community. Prospective partners are asked to submit a Partnership Request Form to the Director, Service Design and Delivery.
Current and potential partnerships should be assessed based on the following criteria:
- Goals of the partner and the partnership project are consistent with the Library's mission, vision, values and established strategic directions and service priorities, and existing policies.
- Supports the strategic directions of our funding partners – the City of Kingston, Frontenac County or the Townships of Frontenac, or the Province.
- Relationship is mutually beneficial with reciprocal levels of commitment.
- Meets an identified need within the community.
- Creates a connection between the Library and a prioritized group.
- Decision-making and resources contributed by KFPL are reasonable based on the contribution and resources of the partners.
- The Library has sufficient resources to undertake the project.
- The project has measurable outcomes and is subject to ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement.
Guidelines for partnership agreements
Collaborative relationships may be established by staff, though consultation with management is expected; this includes provision of guest speakers at Library events and Library staff offering programming at a partner site.
Partnerships that include work-sharing on a project, program or service require a written partnership agreement to ensure a common understanding of, and commitment to the purpose, goals and intended outcomes of the partnership. Partners will need to revisit the agreement over time as the partnership evolves and as needs and priorities change.
The agreement should outline:
- goals of the partnership
- goals of any joint projects / programs / services
- community to be served / audience
- contributions of each partner (cash and in-kind)
- regular and transparent communication between partners
- expectations regarding confidentiality
- responsibility for promotion and for public/media relations
- timeline for the partnership / project, and a process to end or expand the agreement based on changing needs or priorities
- process for consensus / decision-making and conflict resolution
- process and measures for evaluation of the partnership and joint programs / projects / services
Organizational Commitment to Partnerships
Formal partnership agreements must be endorsed by Library Directors, who will designate appropriate staff to represent the organization and provide adequate resources to support the commitment.
Senior leaders of community partners must similarly endorse the partnership and sign the partnership agreement.
Partnerships, and resulting projects, will be evaluated in terms of their success in meeting shared goals and the impact on the community. These goals and an evaluation process will be determined by the partners during the assessment phase, and will be outlined in the partnership agreement.
Further, the Library will inventory and review all partnerships annually and during strategic planning as new directions are identified.
8. Document Control
Original Policy Date: 2017 October
Last Reviewed: 2021 October
Changes made: see report to Board dated September 28, 2021
Next Review: October 2025