You are here

covid-19

Evaluating Program Success in a World Gone Virtual

With COVID-19, libraries quickly pivoted to move their programs and events online. The early months were about figuring out "the how" and getting new routines in place; now it is time to find meaningful ways to evaluate and assess the success of what we are offering.

Just counting attendance will never tell a holistic story of whether a program succeeded or failed. There is so much more data that we can collect to tell a complete story about library programming to funders and board members, to prepare to apply for grants, and to plan for the future.

The Guilty Librarian: Grappling with Job-Related Guilt

Illustration of woman touching her temples and closing her eyes

I have been trying to write this blog post for weeks. The more time that goes by, the more guilt I feel. The powers that be at ALA are going to lose their patience with me, I tell myself. One post a month is not that huge of a commitment — just send it already! I frequently feel this crushing sense of guilt about a lot of things, particularly this year, and I don’t think I’m alone.

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.

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.

Virtual [Spanish/French] Conversation Hour

A photo of a woman smiling down at her laptop with coffee in her hand.

Virtual Language Conversation Hours invite already conversant speakers of a second language to gather and practice in a casual setting. Through interactions with the group, participants strengthen their language skills in organic and accessible ways while also providing opportunities to explore various cultures.

In times of increasing potential isolation this provides space for genuine connections between new people with shared interests.

The Great Brookie Bake-Off (Online)

Photo of mother and child decorating a cake.

Cooking and baking competition programs have been popular at our library for years, so when COVID-19 caused the library to close, I conceived a way to do it online via Zoom in the style of Netflix's "Nailed It."

Teams were asked to prepare two baked and cooled round layer cakes as well as the ingredients for chocolate icing. Participants wouldn't know what they were making until the Zoom competition began. The teams then found out they had to make a hedgehog cake using only what they had on hand! Lots of creativity ensued!

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 Art Show

Photo of a paint palette

Since it's become clear that we won't be having in-person events at our library this summer, I wanted to find a way for the library to uplift community spirit from a distance.

The Spring 2020 Art Show is a digital display of art presentening works by Boyertown community members, open to all ages and media, inclusive of all ages and abilities. The art show can serve as a reminder to the community that, even under challenging conditions, we are capable of creativity, a hopeful spirit and uplifting one another. 

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.

Pages

Subscribe to covid-19