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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.
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 preapare 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!
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.
The Dear Friend pen pal campaign launched as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We connect quarantined youth with senior citizens in our community through a traditional letter-writing program. The program has been tremendously helpful to provide youth and senior citizens a way to stay active and connected during a tumultuous time for the whole world.
We had over 100 registrations in the first month and people are still signing up. We hope to continue long after the quarantine ends.
When the library closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew that I wanted to interact with patrons in ways that aren’t completely digital or Zoom-based. When the library is open, I organize craft classes, which are especially popular during the summer months. I decided to continue these classes from home.
I needed a way to get supplies to patrons. These "to-go bags" contain all the craft materials they might not have at home, allowing for our library to continue teaching and connecting with them. It’s the closest we can get to our summer in-person programming during this time.
When the pandemic hit, we wanted to let our community know that their library is still physically here. These windows serve as a reminder that, even though we have moved many of our services and programming online, the library will continue with many offerings inside of our building when we are safe and ready.
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?
If you’re missing nature or feeling a little claustrophobic these days, you’re not alone. Across the world, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into springtime plans, from spring break camping trips to strolls through urban parks.
With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this Wednesday, April 22, libraries can still offer ways for their patrons to celebrate nature safely. Below are some of low-risk, easy ways you can encourage your community to remember the planet this week.
As library workers try to reach patrons virtually while social distancing, many are turning to videoconferencing platforms like Zoom, Facebook Live or Google Hangouts.
Taking library programs online can be effective at reaching audiences that are connected to the internet. And videoconferencing has other benefits: it is cost-effective, you can reach people far outside your service area, and it may be a draw for community members that can’t or don’t visit the library in person (think parents of young children or people with disabilities).
During these challenging times, you may not have plans for National Library Week (April 19-25) or you may be unsure how to get involved this year. But there are many ways to recognize NLW and celebrate how libraries are continuing to serve their communities.
To help, ALA has created a tip sheet, 20 Easy Ways to Participate in NLW 2020, that is full of ideas on how your library can join the festivities virtually. Here are a few of our favorites.