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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.

Reimagining Stories in ASL: Wisconsin’s Second Deaf Storyslam

2nd Annual Deaf Storyslam Logo

Deaf Storyslam is a free community event, created in 2019, in which Deaf individuals of varying backgrounds share personal stories and experiences with the broader community. The 2nd Annual Deaf StorySlam happened in September 2020 with new tellers and stories but with a virtual twist.

The 2020 Deaf Storyslam included storytelling coaching for Deaf community members and three free virtual public ASL storytelling workshops leading up to the Storyslam.

Elf on the Bookshelf

You've heard of Elf on the Shelf. I've found that the elf is the best low-cost passive program to engage patrons through pandemic times and advocate for our library. My library elf, Tinsel, promotes programming, library services and reading.

The inspiration came from how teachers utilize their elf for classroom management around the hyperactive holiday season. Libraries can use an elf to promote library events and excite patrons with the silly hijinks that the elves get into.

What We Learned When We Took Our Financial Literacy Programs Online

Photo of an open laptop with an image on a piggy bank on the screen

COVID-19 isn't just a health crisis; for many Americans, the pandemic has caused economic turmoil as well. As members of ALA's Financial Literacy Interest Group, we know the importance of financial capability skills, and this was a moment for us to step up.

So facing statewide "shelter at home" orders this spring, public and academic libraries made a quick shift to online financial literacy programming. Here’s what we learned along the way.

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