Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Foul-weather Friends: Partnership with the National Weather Service

Since 2022, The North Platte Public Library (NPPL) has partnered with the local office of the National Weather Service for career presentations about weather and meteorology (elementary-high school) and inclusion focused STEM events. When a meteorologist reached out regarding the library joining the Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassadors Program in the Fall of 2023, it seemed a natural fit.

WRN Ambassadors help disseminate information from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with steps individuals and organizations can take to be prepared for extreme weather events. Organizations participating in the program receive quarterly information regarding extreme weather preparedness via e-mail to share (via social media or in-house displays.) Our library is already accustomed to serving as an information hub for the West Central District Health Department, disseminating information regarding COVID-19 and serving as a distribution point for at-home test kits. Since our local meteorologists come to present free, weather-related programs for elementary and middle school-aged children a couple of times a year during the schools’ Spring Break and the Summer Reading Program, we felt helping to distribute weather and safety information added a level of reciprocity to our existing partnership.

NPPL’s first awareness campaign with WRN Ambassadors has been the Spring Safety Campaign which kicked off March 1st with downloadable social media graphics and presentations on tornadoes, heat, lightning, and more weather events applicable to various locations across the country, enabling ambassador organizations to select the information most vital to share with their communities. Whether your library is in Tornado Alley or along the coast, there is information for what you can do to prepare for extreme weather events. 

Upcoming WRN information for April includes Safe Place Selfie on April 3rd. This awareness event is designed for individuals to take the time and seek out their safe spaces for various weather events including extreme heat/cold, floods, lightning, wind, etc., take a photograph in the space, and tag their photos with #SafePlaceSelfie. The program is also providing information for cloud coverage expected for the April 8th total solar eclipse here.

Any organization can become a WRN Ambassador. It’s been a great way for our library to disseminate possibly life-saving information with our patrons from a credible source organization. More information can be found here: https://www.weather.gov/wrn/amb-tou

This post addresses ALSC Core Competency #V.8: Communicates effectively when addressing groups of children and/or adults, writes proficiently and adjusts content, style, and delivery format to accommodate diverse functions and audiences, and possesses technology skills and cultural competencies that enhance communication.

Anne Price is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee. She can be reached at anne.price712@gmail.com

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