In my last post, I talked about having a Digital First approach at your library. In this post, let’s loosen that concept up just a bit, and explore something that I call “Digital And.”
What is Digital And? With “Digital And…”, everything still has a digital component. It probably also has a physical component. With a Digital And approach, one component is not more important than the other (i.e., the physical is not more important than the digital, and vice versa). But you make sure to offer both as much as possible. That’s how my library is approaching Digital First.
Examples of a Digital And approach:
- New books – we have digital and physical copies.
- Storytimes – we post online first, but also offer the in-building experience once we can. Or, we post snippets online. Or do the non-copyrighted things online, like a short video of a craft or a small part of the story.
- Classes – Offer a mix of digital and physical. Track attendance, and see what works best. Then adjust as needed.
- Big Events – use a hybrid model. Do the event in-person, but also livestream it to Facebook and YouTube.
- Library news and calendar of events – move to digital. No need for a print copy.
- Answering questions – answer everywhere – in-building and online.
Fast vs. Slow:
Here’s another way to think about Digital And – it’s a fast vs slow approach. For example, if you have to create something fast, you start with the digital version. It’s fast, easy, and online in a day. In-person, in-building might take longer, but it also might be more enriching.
So, with this approach, you are able to focus on digital, physical, or both – whatever approach makes the most sense. You also have to remember that in this day and age … sometimes digital makes the most sense. Even if that thing is something libraries have done for the last 100 years!
Stay tuned for part 3!