Collaboration

I’ve long been a proponent of collaborative relationships. Libraries should be collaborating with their communities to see what sorts of projects can be developed that benefit the library, the partners, and the community. Doing so makes good sense – fiscally and socially.

The St. Paul Public Library is entering into a collaborative relationship with, of all groups, dentists:

The smiles of St. Paul children are in jeopardy, so city officials and dental care advocates are expanding a program to rescue them. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced a new partnership Thursday to provide dental care to disadvantaged children in several neighborhoods.

The Smiles Across Minnesota Coalition will bring dentists and dental hygienists closer to children who may not get adequate dental care.

The coalition will expand the reach of an existing program that brought dental care to St. Paul schools and Head Start Centers, which help economically disadvantaged pre-school children prepare for school.

The new partnership will bring these dental services to libraries, parks, and community centers in targeted St. Paul low-income neighborhoods.

What a fabulous idea. I’m not sure who thought to include libraries in this – whether the city contacted the library or vice versa –  but it’s a perfect example of a collaborative venture that will no doubt benefit not only those that take advantage of the service, but the dentists and libraries as well.

Bravo.

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