Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Virtual Summer Reading Promotion – Take 2!

We’ve learned a lot in the last year about being flexible and working remotely. As we gear up for the second round of virtual visits, we reached out to Children’s Librarians at the King County Library System to hear what they’re planning. Thanks to Jenn Carter (JC), Sharon Chastain (SC), Jennifer Duffy (JD), and Mie-Mie Wu (MW) for sharing their experiences and ideas. What’s one of your favorite in-school visit memories?

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Zooming into STEAM Programming

I love book clubs. I personally belong to four (three of which focus on children’s and teen titles).  I run one for tweens at my library.  The adjustment of doing this all online was very simple. I love storytimes.  After figuring out how best to frame staff on the Zoom screen and getting storytime permissions, storytimes adjusted virtually very easily. I love STEAM programs. …….. Seriously, though, I was wondering HOW exactly STEAM programs were going to translate to a live virtual program.  I had done, and seen, some pre-taped crafts and such, but I’ve been just itching to actually connect and interact with kids.  I know many, many of my colleagues have been offering deeply impactful STEAM programs online, but last week was my first. I don’t really get nervous programming anymore.  I was nervous for this. I chose a program on Air and Wind that I was supposed…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Virtual Summer Reading 2021

cartoon image of child with vr goggles on on a solar system background

Summer Reading Virtual Once More So, for most of us, summer reading 2021 will be virtual once more. For some, it meant outsourcing virtual programming, with others flipping coins to see who’d go in front of the green screen. But overall, this is the future of public library programming. Need some help? Read on, fellow green screeners! Best Practices Understand that best practices are still being established, and represents an evolving skillset.  We are understanding the platforms and their capabilities as we go along.  When it comes to producing content, though, many standard best practices for streaming and broadcast apply.  TWITCH  DISCORD  Appears to be a combo of equipment and broadcast practices broadly applicable to streaming in general: Streamer and moderator best practices Consistency with schedule Marketing and promo Equipment and software  It’s a communication tool, not a vault Organization is key Library specific recommendation is to connect with local servers to promote programs Don’t @everyone Keep posting,…

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Trust in the Time of COVID

I’m lucky. In the midst of a pandemic, when almost all of the local schools are remote, and with all of the programs that I run for my urban public library system online, I have developed extra-strong partnerships with classroom teachers and school librarians. Some ask me to recommend resources for students. Some invite me to visit classes over Zoom. All eagerly share information about my numerous Zoom book clubs, maker programs, and author visits. As a children’s librarian in a public library, I have always worked closely with my school-based counterparts. But now that everything has moved online, I find my school-based colleagues’ seal of approval more crucial than ever.  Think about it: in the old days, families would wander into the library off the street. They would meet the librarians, see the environment, judge for themselves that the library was a safe space. They would pop in and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Take-Home Programs for Children

Since March, we’ve all had to find new ways to reach our patrons. From Stay-at-Home Storytimes to virtual live animal programs, we’ve tried many different ideas for engaging our patrons at the Simsbury Public Library, CT. Our live Zoom programs continue to be popular, but we know that kids and families miss the hands-on learning they’d enjoy at an in-person library program. While we can’t completely replicate that experience right now, we can create craft and activity kits that allow families to take a piece of library programming home with them. This summer, we offered “Take & Makes” every Friday and “Bag of Tricks” on select Wednesdays. We made 50 units of each activity, and families could pick them up anytime during our curbside service hours. It was so fun to watch kids jump out of the car and run to pick up a kit. This strategy proved so popular…

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Working Together When Nothing’s Working

My elementary school-aged daughters are in the midst of virtual learning, and as the stay-at-home parent, so am I! The other day I was sitting by my 3rd grader during her Library class. I heard the excellent school librarian (shout out to Mrs. Robin!) instructing the 6- to 9-year old students on the use of an e-book database; as she showed them how to navigate the interface, Mrs. Robin asked students if they had ever browsed the public library’s e-book collection. My daughter beamed at me as we recalled the many times we have enjoyed my library’s e-audiobooks on family trips, on our way to the store, or as a pre-bedtime listen. It was a small thing and Mrs. Robin quickly moved on with her lesson, but this in-class mention of the public library was a good example of something we all do in our work with children: make connections…

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New Opportunities: Connecting Virtually with Parents and Caregivers

Among the many ways in which it has changed our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic has demanded that library staff responsible for creating and carrying out programming be almost endlessly innovative. I have the privilege of working with and hearing from children’s librarians and staff across Suffolk County, New York, as they’ve navigated our new reality. We’ve had many discussions in programming meetings about trying out new virtual programs only to have them flop, and how much harder the feelings that come with a flopped program can hit these days. However, our discussions, we try to keep present in our minds the fact that our current circumstances provide a silver lining of room to innovate: with patrons’ needs and behaviors upended and changing all the time, the justification for trying new things has never been stronger. One of the programming areas for which there is new potential is virtual programming for…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Because Libraries Are Constantly Evolving: How to Get Stakeholders Involved in Virtual Programming

For Public Library Youth Services staff, summer programming is often the busiest time of the year when we are most visible to our communities. As libraries around the country work to transition to new virtual summer reading and learning programs, we can still reach out to our stakeholders, show them the importance and benefit of the work we are doing, and involve them in our virtual programming. Here are some tips to make the most of programming with your stakeholders during this time: Find out what your library’s procedures are for reaching out to stakeholders first and get the support of your manager. Learn about your stakeholders’ interests before reaching out to them. For instance, if you are contacting members of your City Council or Library Board, try to find out what issues they are already passionate about, such as equity, sustainability, or education, and brainstorm ways you can tie…