Exploring the Library: Collaboration Is Key at the Library

by TINA KAKUSKE, Former Director, Door County Library

“It takes a village” is an often-quoted phrase. We understand it to mean that it takes many people working together to make things happen in a community. The Door County Library is fortunate to have a “village” of partners, collaborators and volunteers – in addition to government entities, a Friends group and a foundation – to help make things happen for Door County residents and visitors. 

Library programming involves collaboration with groups and people around the county and state, including the Door County Historical Museum, The Ridges Sanctuary, Ephraim Historical Foundation, Badger Talks, PBS Wisconsin, the UW Water Library, Sea Grant and more.

The annual Door County Reads Festival relies heavily on partners including Write On, Door County; UW-Green Bay; Third Avenue PlayWorks; Peninsula Players Theatre; Door Shakespeare; Rogue Theater; Midsummer’s Music; and many wonderful individuals who give of their time and talent. This festival also would not be possible without the Friends of Door County Libraries providing hundreds of free books and the Door County Library Foundation providing financial underwriting.

The Summer Reading Program is a special time for readers of all ages, and collaboration is also key to creating a fun and successful program. This summer’s collaboration includes passes to the Door County Maritime Museum properties, passes to The Ridges Sanctuary (coming soon), free tickets to Third Avenue PlayWorks’ 2022-23 season, and special storytime providers. There will also be fish and fishing programs from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Crossroads at Big Creek and artist Joseph Kaftan in June; a Coast Guard station tour in July; and a discussion of shipwrecks with Anne Moser of the UW Water Library in August. 

In addition, special event partners such as the Door County Seed Library and the Climate Change Coalition of Door County help the library to play a part in sharing important environmental information and green practices in the county. 

Early on during the pandemic, Tadych’s Econofoods provided shopping bags for material pickup at all eight library branches, and the Door County Fire Chiefs Association helped to organize 20-plus community volunteers to enable visitors to resume in-person use of the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove library branch with limited, safe access.

Space does not permit listing all of the partners, collaborators and volunteers who have helped to advance the library’s mission over the years, yet they are all a significant and appreciated part of our village, helping us to provide the best possible library service for Door County.