Program Collaboration Policy



As part of the Wellesley Free Library’s (WFL) mission to serve as a community gathering place, a cultural destination and a gateway to ideas for residents of all ages and interests, the WFL provides programs of an educational, cultural and civic nature.

The purpose of this policy is to provide structure and guidance to collaborations between the Wellesley Free Library and other organizations, groups, and individuals. Working with a community/program partner or entering into co-sponsorship is a mutually beneficial collaboration between the Library and another entity.

The Wellesley Free Library welcomes engagement with institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government departments, individuals, community and/or other groups to expand the capacity of Library programs, services, and activities provided to the community.

We do not host programs that support or oppose specific political or religious agendas, though we permit programs of an educational nature covering political or religious traditions and information.



Community/Program Partner

A community/program partner is an institution, business, nonprofit organization, government department, individual, community and/or other group that collaborates with the Library to provide and/or promote activities, services, events and programs to the public in ways that are mutually beneficial.  Typically, community/program partners work together with the Library without the contribution of funds, products or services of a defined value to the Library.  Community/program partners are provided with a level of recognition commensurate with their level of collaboration.


A co-sponsor is an institution, business, nonprofit organization, government department, individual, community and/or other group who contributes funds or products or services of a defined value to the Library in support of an activity, service, event or program.  The Library can also act as a co-sponsor. Co-sponsors are provided with a level of recognition commensurate with their level of collaboration.


Program Collaboration

 The Library will only work with community/program partners and enter into co-sponsorships that are determined to be in the best interest of the Library’s mission.

Certain guidelines apply in deciding the specific nature and conditions of acceptable co-sponsorships and community/program partners. Co-sponsorships and community/program partner relationships:

  • Must be consistent with the Library’s philosophy and mission, vision, and values;
  • Must be consistent with all policies of the Wellesley Free Library, including but not limited to the Library’s policy of equal access to service and Social Media policy. Co-sponsorships and community/partnerships must not give unfair advantage to, or create discrimination against, any sectors of the community.

In addition, agreements between the Library and its co-sponsors and community/program partners must further the Library’s goals. Desirable outcomes may include:

  • Increased visibility of the Library in the community
  • Support of regular or special Library activities, services, events, and programs
  • Improved response to identified community needs
  • Enhanced use of community space inside or outside of the Library

The Board of Library Trustees delegates development of community/program partners and co-sponsorships to the Library Director who may delegate it to the Assistant Director and designated department staff.

While the Library and the community/program partner or co-sponsoring entity may not have identical goals, the goals should be complementary and not contradictory. Each partner should contribute to the enterprise.

Co-sponsorships and collaboration decisions are made on the basis of mutual need and equitable benefit between the Library and potential partners. All decisions about a program or event, including but not limited to advertising copy, marketing materials and any shared costs, must be mutually agreed upon by all  parties before the program or event is promoted.

At the beginning of a new relationship, the Library and the potential partner will prepare a set of guidelines to outline each party’s responsibilities and activities that form the partnership. Some partner programs or co-sponsorships may warrant a written agreement and/or require a supplementary performance agreement.

Every co-sponsored program will have a Library staff member designated as program supervisor. The program supervisor may collaborate or delegate some responsibilities for program coordination.  Volunteers who develop or present programs will do so under the direction of a Library staff supervisor. Community/program partners will have a specific library contact.

The Library will generate and disseminate all publicity for co-sponsored programs and community/program partners except where mutually agreed upon.  Any requirements for publicity or sponsorship statements (such as crediting funding agencies or use of logos) will be mutually communicated, agreed upon between the Library and program partners or co-sponsors prior to the program, service or event being promoted, and continuously maintained by all parties.

The Library will be the point of contact for all formal press releases and public inquiries except where mutually agreed upon by program presenters/partners/co-sponsors and the Library. Only the Library will have access to Library publicity avenues such as mailing lists, web pages, or e-mail addresses.

Separate resource requests or unsolicited offers from individuals or organizations to present programs will be evaluated by the same standards used by Library staff, and the Library reserves the right to decline sponsorship or resource requests. 

All community/program partners and co-sponsors must abide by Wellesley Free Library policies and any Massachusetts or federal laws governing municipal libraries.  Community/program partners and co-sponsors may not influence the selection of materials, programs or services, and must respect the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom.  Partners may not require explicit endorsement of products and services.  In addition, the Library ensures the confidentiality of Library records as required by law, and partners shall be granted no access to such records.


Expectations of Community/Program Partners and Co-sponsors

The Library expects community/program partners and co-sponsors to:

  • Be committed to the success of the partnership
  • Adhere to this policy and any applicable agreement(s)
  • Jointly identify clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all involved
  • Show understanding of Library policy
  • Maintain effective communication with Library staff about partnership activities and any changes that may affect the quality or scope of the partnership
  • Share updates about relevant changes to program plans, contacts, contact information, schedules, budgets, and capacity
  • Be committed to ongoing evaluation of progress and continuous improvement
  • Be committed to collaborative, long-term strategies, not just short-term solutions
  • Be committed to creating opportunities to engage the community and/or target audience
  • Provide opportunities for all partners to meet their shared social responsibilities
  • Review and affirm partnerships periodically through the use of a Community/Program Partnership Agreement, when applicable. Typically a partner or co-sponsorship that would warrant a written agreement will have an ongoing program or event series that engages large audiences, requires significant expenditures of revenue or resources, and involve collaboration by multiple people and/or organizations
  • Refrain from selling or providing explicit endorsement of commercial products and services.



Dissolving Community/Program Partner and Co-sponsorship Relationships

The Library reserves the right to terminate or withdraw from co-sponsorships or program partners at any time.


Notwithstanding the above, this policy may be subject to exception at the discretion of the director and/or board of library trustees.

Approved 3/22/2022 by the WFL Board of Trustees