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Distance Librarian-ing: the New School Library Normal

A photo of a child drawing a picture titled "Stay home"

As we approach May still in quarantine, we wanted to share how our library programming is continuing to roll along in the midst of the pandemic. We have learned some amazing things about ourselves, our library programming and what our school community needs.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the lessons learned, how our programming is holding up, and what we see as necessary as we continue in this brave new normal.

Distanced, but Connected: Ways to Reach Your Whole Community

A child hanging a painting of a rainbow on the inside of a window

What a strange time we are living in. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit lonely and disconnected. Working in a small-town library can be rather isolating in itself, but when you’re cut off from your community, it’s easy to feel rather irrelevant.

With everyone stuck at home, is there even a way for library staff to connect with people? The answer is yes! I rounded up some out-of-the-box ideas for reaching patrons via social media. plus a few offline ideas for those who don’t have an internet connection.

Tried-and-True Online Tools for School Library Programming

Picture of girl doing schoolwork on a computer.

If you've been on social media lately, you may have seen lists of educational resources offered for free or at minimal cost during the COVID-19 pandemic. These lists can be overwhelming, and many resources may not meet your school district's privacy guidelines. And what happens when the free resources are not free anymore? Can your library support the purchase that your students and teachers have come to rely upon? 

Digital Storytelling in 6 Steps

A carrot-shaped cutout against a background with the words "Carrot's in a Pickle"

As I write this, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like online programs are the only way for librarians to connect with their patrons. Digital storytelling is a creative way to engage patrons virtually right now — and as a bonus, you will learn some fantastic skills you can take back to your libraries when this is all over, for intergenerational workshops or homeschooling projects to improve digital literacy. So let's get started!

Kingsessing Library Celebrates 100 Years with Fine Forgiveness Jubilee

Kingsessing branch managers from 1985 to the present celebrate 100 years.

The Free Library of Philadelphia received a 2017 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to implement the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries Initiative. The project’s goal is to create a practical curriculum to build community engagement capacity in 300 staff members at all levels.

Not Just for STEM Class: Makerspace Programming & English Language Arts

A human figure made out of popsicle sticks with clay and a balloon

As librarians, we are passionate advocates for makerspace programming. We share with teachers and students how makerspaces engage and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Our school library has supported many makerspace programming events, from Makerspace Monday to our monthly Makerspace challenge.

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