Some of the best advice and contacts for special collections outreach can be found outside the libraries box. If training, information or funding is labelled ‘for museums’ or ‘for arts groups’ or ‘for charities’ or ‘for [insert other]’, it might actually also be for special collections libraries. Since there is not a great deal on offer in the UK specifically for libraries that want to promote their special collections to new audiences, we need to take advantage of opportunities that our colleagues in other (arts and heritage) sectors might offer us.
The Voluntary Arts Network is a case in point. Their email bulletin includes news from the voluntary or amateur arts or crafts world, including training, events and funding. Even if the training and funding listed is not directly relevant to your collections, you may spot something that your partners in the community can attend or apply for. It might be a good way to identify new partners in your local community. You may get some inspiration from reading the events listings.