A project of the Afterschool Alliance
health and wellness

Library 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!

Browse Past Examples

Here are a few quick ideas to include libraries in your Lights On Afterschool celebration:

  • Reach out and ask the library if you can host your celebration there
  • Encourage librarians to promote and attend your event
  • Invite library staff to read to your students or work at an in-event library card sign-up booth as part of your event
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Promote Family Engagement

Public libraries and the afterschool field share an interest in family engagement. Afterschool programs that take a wrap-around approach to youth development often offer homework help and tutoring, assistance for language learners, and advice for parents and guardians seeking additional programming for their families—resources that many libraries offer as well!

Make family engagement a priority of your partnership. The Global Family Research Project offers afterschool programs and libraries a fresh approach to designing experiences through which students and families can explore and extend their learning.


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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”.

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Ideas for Libraries

Use Lights On Afterschool as a chance to think outside the box about opportunities to collaborate. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hold a student writing contest with librarians as judges
  • Ask local youth or children's author to read their work aloud as part of an event
  • Choose a book and host an illustration workshop to help students and famlies explore their creative side

For even more great ideas, join our partner STAR Net for this webinar to learn more about Lights On Afterschool, and how your library can participate.

Watch the webinar