Partnership Policy

The Hamilton Public Library has a long history of developing partnerships to:

  • Extend and enhance our services in a sustainable way
  • Support City of Hamilton and other broad based community initiatives that advance Hamilton’s economic, social or cultural richness
  • Enhance coordination and reduce overlap in efforts between agencies serving Hamilton


A Partnership is defined as a mutually beneficial collaboration between the Library and an external organization(s).  Partner contributions provide and/or promote activities, services, events and programs to the public in ways that are mutually beneficial.   

Principles Governing Partnerships

The following principles will govern how HPL approaches partnerships and related activities.  Not all principles will apply in every case; however, these principles will be used inform decision making.  We will partner where, the organization or project: 
  • Aligns with our organizational values
  • Shares common goals or objectives with HPL
  • Is committed to ongoing evaluation of progress and continuous improvement 
  • Is committed to collaborative, long-term strategies not just short-term solutions
  • Is committed to creating numerous opportunities to engage all segments of the community
  • Is committed to and acknowledging partner's contributions through appropriate forms of recognition
  • Provides opportunities for all partners to meet their shared social responsibilities 
Small or local partnerships may be informal in nature; however, as partnerships grow formal memos of understanding (MOUs) or agreements will be developed.  
Generally, partnerships should start modest and only grow after demonstrated success and alignment.  Partners should be committed to identify clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all involved
Partnerships should be reviewed and affirmed based on an established cycle.  

Roles and Responsibilities 

All Library departments have a responsibility for identifying new partnerships and nurturing existing ones that advance HPL’s mission.  All staff engaged in partnerships are responsible for supporting effective communication and coordination of partnership activities.  Within those shared responsibilities, the following specialized roles exist:
  • Branch/Departmental Managers are responsible for advancing local partnerships and ensuring local efforts align and support broader library partnerships
  • The Manager of Partnerships and Communication plays a leadership role in developing and sharing best practices around developing and managing partnerships
  • The Manager of Youth Services supports key partnerships with the School Boards and other partners advancing youth and teen learning experiences
  • The Manager of Program Development support partnerships enhancing adult and senior learning opportunities
  • The Library Administration Team is responsible for supporting partnership activities system-wide and playing a leadership role developing new strategic partnerships
  • The Chief Librarian/CEO supported by the Administration Team is responsible for ensuring the Library Board is informed of and supports major partnership activities and initiatives.  The CEO and Administration Team will work to seek out and advance potential partnership consistent with this policy, however; when long term or major commitments involving staff time, library space or financial obligations are involved, Library Board approval will be required before finalizing agreements

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