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Community connections, community collections: Building partner support for collaborative digitization projects

David Gwynn (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




This paper aims to explore library–community collaboration from both a theoretical and practical perspective, highlighting successful collaborative strategies and projects and illustrating important considerations for libraries that are considering community partnerships.


This paper consists of a literature review and several “capsule” case studies of projects completed at one academic library to illustrate principles that can result in successful collaborative projects.


Library–community collaboration presents significant benefits if the needs and priorities of all collaborating partners are taken into account. Successful projects will use the strengths of one partner to balance the weaknesses of another, will be based on shared goals, will offer credit to all partners and will result in stronger relationships for all involved.


Although library–community partnerships are not uncommon, many of these partnerships are housed in public libraries or involve only large, institutional players. This paper explores several non-traditional academic library initiatives involving youth service learning and outreach to smaller community groups that might otherwise be ignored by large university libraries.



Gwynn, D. (2016), "Community connections, community collections: Building partner support for collaborative digitization projects", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 88-102.



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