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Pre-Application Webinar for Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

LTC: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is open to libraries in the U.S. and U.S. territories that serve small or rural communities. The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Getting (Through) This Together: A Community-Based Archival Collaboration

Document your Story: COVID-19 Pandemic Project Archive brought together three community organizations to collect and preserve material created during COVID-19 from many different perspectives. This project has collected material from a variety of community members, such as local artists, diarists, the local business community, Muncie citizens, and Ball State University students, faculty and staff.

Junior Virtual Art Show

Photo of a slide from the Junior Virtual Art Show

Prior to COVID-19, we talked about creating a junior art show that would be shown in our library's community room. Unfortunately, all of our community rooms closed to the public for safety reasons and we could no longer use them for programming. 

I found that the most appropriate and safest way to display the talents of our young artists was through a virtual art show!

The kids would get recognition and get to display their art in a safe virtual environment that mimics a real gallery experience.

Welcome to School, I'm Your Zoom-brarian: Relationship-Building for a New Year

A woman holding a coffee cup smiling at a computer screen

As we look to fall 2020 and our start to the school year, one thing is certain: it will be like no other start we have experienced before. Many districts have already decided to begin the year virtually, and others are sure to follow. Districts starting with a hybrid model of mixed virtual and face-to-face learning will also face challenges that we have not yet encountered.

Wear the Dang Mask: Lessons from a Library that Re-opened Too Soon

My Mask Protects My Community illustration

Welp. After writing a post just a few months ago about my anxiety surrounding re-opening, my library is now closed … for a second time. We closed in March, then opened again in mid-May, after the governor declared that libraries were among the first wave of places allowed to re-open.

All seemed fine at first: our toys were put away, the computers were appointment-only, and everyone was encouraged to grab their materials (after sanitizing) and then leave.

Silly Sidewalk Obstacle Course

Kids jumping through the sidewalk obstacle course.

The goal of the Silly Sidewalk Obstacle Course is to provide a sense of liberation and fun while emphasizing the importance of wellness during these unprecedented COVID-19 times.

Upon completion of the course, patrons can enter the library and salute the librarians to be entered in a raffle for a silly prize. Our obstacle course has proven to be popular among all age groups in the community.

National History Day and Teacher/Librarian Collaboration

NHD Logo

National History Day (NHD) projects have been part of our collaborative library programming for years. They are a great way for students to learn the research process in a deep and meaningful manner, meeting many National School Library Standards. It's also a great way for students to practice the various literacies: news, information, media and digital. 

Presenting Virtual Library Programming in Uncertain Times

Photo of person working on laptop.

Before COVID-19, the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library adult programming team periodically would discuss how we could offer a virtual component to accompany our in-person library programming. Could we livestream our larger events to an overflow space within the library? What would be the best way to record some of our programs and make them available to the public afterwards? These questions were discussed, with varying degrees of urgency, for months.

Science @ Home!

Photo of ingredients used for a science project.

Science @ Home! is a weekly program that demonstrates simple science projects with everyday objects that children can do at home, combined with an explanation of how the science behind the project works. The program debuted on April 6, 2020, and is tentatively scheduled to run through the end of August.

The idea for Science @ Home! came just after the library closed to the public. Staff had filmed a couple of virtual storytimes the day before staff was sent home, so we had about a week of virtual programs ready.

Creativity Crates for Summer Reading

Photo of the inside of the Creativity Crate.

The Reading Creativity Crate program is the socially distanced solution to our summer reading program. Many of our patrons love and rely on summer reading so we knew we had to make it work.

Based on the model for subscription crates, patrons can choose a box according to their age group. The box contains books, craft materials and a variety of resources that cover two weeks of summer reading activities. 

We have five crates to choose from: pre-K, 1st-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, 9th-12th grade and adult.

Dream Careers: Virus Hunter

Photo of a scientist working in lab.

Dream Careers is a teen-initiated, teen-led series designed to increase awareness on a variety of careers choices. The program helps teens research career paths while speaking with a chosen guest.

On May 5 we had our kickoff event via Zoom with virologist Ken Stedman. Dr. Stedman studies viruses found in extreme environments, and the teens wanted to hear from him in light of the pandemic. Our next Dream Careers will be with a chef and restaurant owner.

Virtual Literary Legos

Photo of lego blocks

Virtual Literary Legos is a children's program offered via Zoom. It consists of two sessions: in the first, I read a story, asking the kids to pay particular attention to the visuals and think about something they could create with Legos. We take a break so the children can work on their creations, and then we reconvene for a show-and-tell.

This program incorporates literacy, creativity, meaningful interaction and fun with Legos! Before COVID-19, I ran this program once a month from our library; now I do it twice a month virtually.

Curbside Kids' Activity Kits

Introducing Curbside Kid's Activity Kits

The Kids' Activity Kit program will help our library provide activities and promote learning while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently six different categories of kits that have been cataloged and circulated in our community.

Each kit comes in a freezer or AV bag and is labeled with items that the patron can keep as well as items that need to be returned. There are craft kits available as well as kits that promote fine motor and important skills for early childhood education.

Virtual Beer Tasting

a flight of beers on a wooden tray

My library planned an online guided tasting of four craft beers led by a local brewmaster. The library hosted the virtual presentation and the brewery provided the program content and the beer flight, which participants could choose to purchase in advance with curbside delivery.

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