1.) Who is the new department/organization/client/partner?
Academic libraries: One department I would like to establish a new relationship with is our Athletics Department, because I think the library has a lot to offer students that are traveling a lot for competition. I should not only identify the Athletics Department as the partner - but the individuals such as coaches, athletic directors, and liaisons in other student services offices that work with Athletics. I should keep track of their names, roles, and how they work together. I should also make it a point to keep track on team performance - and congratulate coaches after a big win, like the back-to-back national championships won by the Loyola Men's Volleyball team.
Public libraries: Public libraries have a less specified constituency than an academic library, so building a new relationship could be with a new elected official, brand new school in the district, recently opened business, or other organizations like the gardening club or chamber of commerce. Similarly to the example above, identifying who does what will be a pivotal step. Additionally, many of these roles are likely to change quickly, especially in volunteer organizations - so continuity is key! Ensure that you not only have contact information for the individuals, but general organizational information as well (e.g. a generic gmail address, rather than only personal emails). Another important factor is identifying these individuals' priorities. We'll come back to this in the "mutually beneficial goals" section - but elected officials may have different priorities than the chamber of commerce; regardless of what their priorities are, it is important to identify them so the library has a strategy on how to get a seat at the table with each partner.
Corporate libraries: Corporate libraries are a bit of a special case, because the librarian's role may vary depending on the type of corporation. If the librarian has a role similar to a corporate archivist, or an in-house researcher, the departments will be very explicit, have clear hierarchies, and most likely - they will be fairly easy to communicate with, share priorities, and build relationships based on the fact that they work for the same company. However, it's obvious that not everyone appreciates the magical wonder that is the corporate librarian, so this process will still be important. Understanding your new colleagues, their supervisors, and what they've been asked to accomplish by the corporate office (or what projects they're contributing towards) will be a great way to start building the relationship. However, if you work for a corporate library that is frequently providing services to clients, or non-corporate individuals, the situation becomes much less transparent. Now, in addition to getting to know the direct client, their projects, and their supervisors - you will also have to understand the company, company priorities, and strategic goals.
Special Libraries: I'd like to think special libraries are quite similar to Academic Libraries, but in reality, they are their own special little snowflake. Depending on the origins of the library (e.g. special library within a university or museum system, stand alone archive or special collection, or funded privately for a foundation or organization, etc.) partnerships could take many forms. In the case of stand alone or privately funded institutions, partnerships are likely to develop out of potential sources of revenue. However, regardless of the reason for the partnership - it is likely that there will be shared interest over your collection content. Interest groups, organizations, non-profits, and even occasionally tourism organizations would all be potential partners, and you can follow some of the methods listed above to identify exactly with whom you may be working.
To avoid a discussion about a worksheet turning into a novel, I'll post similar segments on the rest of the components over the next couple of weeks. I'm curious if any readers have any other strategies, points to include on this worksheet, or are adamantly opposed to some of the criteria included! Send me your feedback if you've got a different opinion on relationship building.