Library Partnerships: Downtown Bay City Recognized with Honorable Mention for Collaboration with BCLS
We are thrilled to announce that Downtown Bay City has been awarded an Honorable Mention for outstanding partnership with the Bay County Library System as part of the inaugural I Partner with My Public Library Award.
Downtown Bay City's Impactful Collaboration
Cora Schaeff, Children’s Department Head from Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library, shared insights into the dynamic partnership with Kellie Rupp, Marketing Director for Downtown Bay City. Their collaboration kicked off after Schaeff learned about a successful story walk initiative at a conference in March 2022. Inspired, she connected with Kellie to brainstorm ideas on how to bring this innovative concept to downtown Bay City.
The result? The "Sundays in the City" Storywalk, a winter extravaganza involving 14 local businesses, which proved immensely popular. The collaboration expanded to include the "Urban Explorers" tween program, exploring downtown businesses, non-profits, and cultural hubs. Last year, 10 kids and Schaeff embarked on a series of downtown adventures, fostering a unique connection between the library and the community.
Community Engagement Beyond Books
The collaboration had continued success with outdoor Storytime Yoga sessions on the 'Feet on the Street' turf area during the summer. Participants were not only treated to a relaxing yoga experience, but also introduced to the many resources available at the library, just blocks away. The library's Summer Reading Program received a boost from Water Street Nutrition, offering free shake coupons, which was effective in promoting both downtown businesses and the library.
Another great result from this partnership – monthly storytimes at Populace Coffee. Through Kellie's connection, Schaeff established a storytime series for young families at the downtown coffee house, creating a mutually beneficial relationship for both the library and Populace Coffee.
As the partnership continues to flourish, Cora Schaeff envisions even more exciting collaborations, including participation in the annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree and Santa's arrival. The two-year collaboration has been marked by creativity, community engagement, and a shared commitment to making library resources accessible in unique ways.
In the words of Cora Schaeff, "Kellie has made this part so easy for me with her sunny disposition, 'can-do' attitude, and encouragement. Kellie works for and represents many businesses downtown, and they have all been fantastic to work with, but it is Kellie who assisted in facilitating these relationships that I now have for our library."
Kellie Rupp actively includes library updates in her weekly email of Downtown Happenings, reinforcing the strong bond between the library and the community. We are immensely grateful for this remarkable partnership and look forward to many more collaborative adventures in the future!