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Community Engagement Policy

POLICY STATEMENT: The Fort Worth Library System is committed to establishing and promoting communications within Fort Worth to create relationships with the community that improve the quality of customers’ lives.

This Policy outlines the policies and procedures for community engagement for the Fort Worth Library. The purpose is to provide guidance and instruction for library employees to become more visible and to actively engage their communities.

KEY WORDS:

Engaging in Community Activities
Local Celebrations
National Night Out
Neighborhood Associations
Outreach
Promote library services
Services
Social Service Agencies
Summer Reading Program (SRP)

DEFINITION:

Engaging in Community Activities: Libraries have an integral role in the establishments of sustainable communities that will improve the quality of the lives of customers; All activities do their share in bringing about a sense of community throughout the City of Fort Worth, creating relationships between library and community.

Outreach: The act or process of reaching out; an effort by individuals in an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public.

Services: reoccurring programs (e.g.: story time, school visits) and rotating collections.

GUIDELINES:

List of events libraries will actively solicit and participate in to establish a presence and promote library services in the community and/or make presentations:

  1. Neighborhood association meetings
  2. Community fairs, health fairs, events such as National Night Out
  3. Library Card signups
  4. Luncheons/local chambers of commerce 
  5. Participation in parades and other local celebrations 
  6. Social service agencies
  7. Summer Reading Program at schools using electronic communications

LIMITATIONS:

  1. Library staff will not provide library services outside of the library. For example career days, story time at schools, day cares, or private care facilities.
  2. One luncheon per quarter will be funded for luncheons sponsored by local chambers of commerce or neighborhood associations.
  3. Library will not pay membership dues. If the City is a member, staff can attend at member rate.
  4. Comp time accrual allowed with supervisor approval.

Managers Role:

When deciding which events to participate in, the guiding principles below should be considered:

  1. The audience should be 20 or more
  2. Consider if the event or presentation is likely to result in more people using library services or better understand the library’s brand and values? If so, why do you believe this to be the case?
  3. The preparation time should be less than 30 minutes?
  4. How many staff will be involved (return on investment)?
  5. Determine if volunteers are needed. If volunteers needed contact Volunteer Coordinator for availability

PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING CUSTOMER REQUESTS:

  1. Customer submits request to the Manager of the facility
  2. Manager should use guiding principles identified under Managers Role when approving requests outside of previously stated guidelines

Responding to customers:

  1. Yes: respond to customer and set date and time.  Manager then assigns staff to the event and reports visits with monthly statistics.
  2. No: respond to customer with explanation and refer to Neighborhood Education Community Services.

Last updated: March 7, 2013