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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 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.
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.
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.
Tales & Travel Adventures is an online adaptation of the original Tales & Travel Memories program, which was designed to actively engage persons living with dementia in literacy activities. This is an ongoing series of excursions to US and global destinations, currently including Chicago, Italy and California.
On Monday, July 27, ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., kicked off a 12-stop virtual tour to spotlight how libraries of all kinds across the country are addressing the needs of their diverse communities and engaging stakeholders to advocate for libraries. The 10-day Holding Space tour began at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and will end at the Hawaii State Library on Friday, August 7.
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.
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.
BPL Piano Show is an all-request musical performance streamed every Thursday night on Facebook Live. It features Kaleen Dolan, a born-and-raised Chicagoan who has played at the top piano bars nationally and internationally. We began the program on May 7, 2020, and plan to continue offering it at least into August 2020.
Libraries have reported a significant increase in their virtual programming since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Since libraries across the country started closing in March 2020, a remarkable amount of resources have been produced to help librarians create and sustain their virtual programs during and after the pandemic. Here are some highlights.
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.
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!