For starters – how is everyone doing? Are you weathering this current storm ok? I hope so. Hang in there – it will be ok! We are librarians, and we will get through this.
Last week, libraries started closing (that was a weird sentence to type). My library stayed open over the weekend, then closed starting Monday. As of now, we are closed for two weeks … but that might change, depending on what else happens with our current crisis.
But here’s the thing – our building closed; our digital branch is still open. This is true for every library. Right now, my library’s digital branch is very actively open.
Here’s what we are doing (at the moment – again, things could rapidly change):
- Our website is still available to customers. And we are creating new content for it – mostly focused on our digital content.
- Customers are still using our digital content – ebooks, movies, magazines, audiobooks, databases, etc.
- We raised the limit on how many items people can check out from Hoopla from 10 to 15 items.
- We have a bunch of mobile apps that customers can still use (digital content again). We are also promoting our mobile apps page, so customers know what apps we offer.
- Our social media team has kicked into high gear. We are creating content and customers are engaging with us. We even created a temporary social media schedule for staff to follow, whether they are working from home or at the office (some of us are still working in the building at the moment).
- Questions – we are answering them! We have questions coming in through web chat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Staff can answer these at work or at home.
- Lynda, Treehouse, Mango Languages, etc – interactive digital learning is still open.
- We are creating videos for social media – story times, book reviews.
- People can still download and listen to our podcast.
- Library news – as things are changing, we communicate that to customers – through e-newsletters, our website, and social media.
On the back-end of the digital branch, we are quickly figuring out how staff can work from home, and what that looks like.
Your library isn’t a building. It’s not a bunch of books. It’s made up of people and content. And interacting with people and content doesn’t have to stop just because the building is closed. Just something to remember as each of us work through these strange, unprecedented times!