A project of the Afterschool Alliance

Library-Afterschool Partnerships

Libraries and afterschool programs share common goals of creating safe and enriching environments for children and families to come together and learn. Highlight a partnership you already have, or partner together for the first time this year for a Lights On Afterschool event!

Learn about library afterschool partnerships

The results are in: afterschool programs love partnering with their local libraries! In a 2017 survey of more than 350 afterschool programs, almost three-quarters are working with their local public library in diverse ways, ranging from summer reading initiatives to curriculum development support, book lending programs, family events, and even science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities! So, what’s stopping you? 

And read our full report, “Library and afterschool partnerships: How afterschool providers are working together with public libraries” here.

For Lights On event ideas, take a look at our events ideas page or check out some of the resources from our partners below!

If you’re a library looking to partner, here’s what programs said would help bridge the gap!

Discover our partner STAR_Net

The Afterschool Alliance is partnered with the Space Science Institute’s STAR_Net project (Science Technology Activities and Resources Library Education Network) to support collaborations between public libraries and afterschool programs in STEM learning. STAR_Net is a key resource to the library field by providing interactive STEM exhibits, programming, and training to public libraries nationwide.

Afterschool educators are encouraged to join the STAR_Net community to access space science resources and participate in monthly webinars. As you plan your Lights On Afterschool event, be sure to check out STAR_Net’s STEM Resource Clearinghouse, an online database of professionally tested STEM activities for connecting your students to the library.

Promote family engagement

Public libraries and the afterschool field share an interest in family engagement. Check out the resources from the Global Family Research Project that offer afterschool programs and libraries a fresh approach to designing experiences through which students and families can explore and extend their learning.

Ideas to Celebrate Library Partnerships

Farmington Public Library

Activity: Other
Theme: Library Partnerships
Level: Beginner | Three Weeks

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Activity: Other
Theme: Library Partnerships
Level: Intermediate | Weeks

Missouri River Educational Cooperative

Activity: Other
Theme: Library Partnerships
Level: Beginner | Six Weeks