Collaboration Requests Policy link
Collaboration Requests are proposals by nonprofits, community groups, organizations and/or individuals to present a one-time or limited number of public programs at the Library. The Library welcomes Collaboration Requests that align with the mission and vision of the Library. Successful collaborations in the past include musical performances, tabling at Library events, exercise programs, cultural offerings, STEM classes, and more.
Criteria for Consideration
To be considered, Collaboration Requests with external entities must meet these criteria:
- Does the request resonate with our Library's mission and vision?
- Will it cater to a broad audience and be accessible to our patrons?
- Does the request address a known unmet need or demonstrate a new need?
- Is the impact broad or focused on a specific group?
Capacity and Reciprocity
- Can we accommodate the request within our current staffing and event space?
- Does the collaboration offer mutual benefits to both parties?
- Capacity considerations:
- Marketing and outreach
Timeliness and Controversy
- Does it address a contemporary or emerging issue?
- If this request might be controversial, are there other factors to be taken into consideration such as security needs, communications plans, and executive approval?
- Will the request attract an audience based on its appeal?
- Have similar requests been successful in the past?
- Is there evidence that the presenter has expertise in their field and has experience delivering engaging and informative programs or library services?
- Have they worked with the Library previously or at other libraries in the area?
Metrics for Prioritization
To ensure that partnerships align with the Library’s vision, the evaluation team use the following metrics to evaluate potential collaborators:
- Demographic Representation: The evaluation team prioritize partnerships that serve underrepresented and marginalized communities, ensuring that our services reach those who might otherwise face barriers.
- Accessibility: The evaluation team assess partners based on their commitment to accessibility, both in terms of physical spaces and digital content, to ensure inclusivity for all.
- Inclusive Programming: Partners who propose programs that promote cross-cultural understanding, inclusivity, and diverse perspectives will be given preference.
- Collaborative Vision: The evaluation team values partners who demonstrate a clear understanding of our mission and a willingness to collaborate in ways that align with the Library’s mission and vision.
- Measurable Outcomes: Partners should propose achievable goals and outcomes for the collaboration that can be measured and evaluated for their impact.
- Community Engagement: Partnerships that actively involve community members in planning, decision-making, and implementation will be prioritized.
In general, the Library does not accept Collaboration Requests for:
- Storytimes and traditional library programming/services: Storytimes or similar regular programming or library services, as these are integral to our ongoing schedule and designed by our Library staff for consistency and quality.
- Marketing or graphic design: Services for marketing or graphic design services, which aim to create promotional materials, advertisements, branding campaigns, or similar initiatives, are not generally accepted.
- Commercial Promotion: Collaboration Requests that primarily aim to promote or advertise commercial products, services, or businesses.
- Personal Gain: Proposals seeking personal financial gain or personal profit for individuals involved.
- Partisan Political Activities: Programs or events that are directly affiliated with partisan political campaigns, candidates, or advocacy groups.
- Illegal or Unethical Activities: Proposals that involve or promote illegal activities, unethical behavior, or actions that go against the Library's ethical standards.
- Explicitly Religious Activities: Programs that are focused solely on religious worship, proselytization, or instruction in religious doctrine.
- Hate Speech or Discrimination: Proposals that involve hate speech, discriminatory content, or activities that promote intolerance or harm to any group or individual.
- Health Claims: Collaboration Requests that make unsubstantiated health claims, promise medical treatments, or present pseudoscientific information.
- Costs: Programs that entail costs or financial burdens for attendees, such as mandatory materials.
- Conflict of Interest: Collaboration Requests that involve conflicts of interest or affiliations that might compromise the Library's integrity or neutrality.
- Inaccurate Information: Programs that disseminate false or misleading information that could negatively impact the community.
- Infringement on Intellectual Property: Collaboration Requests that violate copyright or intellectual property rights without proper authorization.
- Explicit Content: Programs containing explicit, offensive, or adult-oriented content that is not appropriate for a general audience.
- Solicitation: Proposals that involve direct solicitations for funds, donations, or personal information from attendees.
- Unsafe Activities: Programs that involve dangerous or potentially harmful activities that could pose a risk to participants or attendees.
- Programs and services are scheduled approximately 6 months in advance.
- Programs and services developed by the Library staff take highest priority in the Library’s scheduling and development.
- The Collaboration Review team prioritizes inquiries from local requestors.
- Programs and services must be free and open to the public.
- If fees are involved, consult our Event Space Rental or City vendor guidelines, please visit the Library’s Event Space Rental page or register as a Vendor with the City of Austin and contact the Programs & Partnerships team at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about becoming a City vendor.
- Liability insurance and background checks may be required.
Application and Evaluation Process
- Submission of Collaboration Request: Interested parties must initiate the collaboration process by submitting a Collaboration Request Form through this link: Collaboration Request | Austin Public Library. This form is also accessible through the official website and serves as the initial step to propose a one-time or limited public program or service.
- Evaluation by Review Team: Collaboration Requests will be collectively evaluated by our dedicated Evaluation Team approximately every 3 weeks. This team comprises experienced library staff members with expertise in programming and community engagement.
- Approval/Denial Notification: Once the evaluation is complete, if the request has been approved, a designated library staff member will contact the individual who submitted the Collaboration Request.
- Program Coordination Assignment: Upon approval, a library staff member will be assigned to coordinate the planning and execution of the approved program or service. This staff member will act as the main point of contact and collaborate closely with the proposing individual or organization.
- Six-Month Planning Horizon: Our Library operates on a proactive planning approach, scheduling programs and services six months in advance. Approved collaborations will be slotted into the library's programming calendar in alignment with this planning horizon.
- Collaborative Program/Service Implementation: As the program or service date approaches, the assigned library staff member will work closely with the proposer to ensure seamless execution. This collaborative effort aims to deliver a high-quality experience to our community members.
- Evaluation and Feedback: Following the conclusion of the program or service, an evaluation will be conducted. This evaluation process involves library staff and collaborating partners. Feedback will be collected to assess the impact, effectiveness, and alignment with our goals.