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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.

Virtual Minecraft Club

Screenshots taken from Virtual Minecraft Club

Virtual Minecraft Club is an online adaptation of our original Minecraft Club program, a program for ages 6 and up to collaborate, compete and build with other local fans on all supported Minecraft platforms.

Virtual Minecraft Club, like its in-person predecessor, happens for one hour once per week.

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.

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