When I arrived at Warrenville Public Library back in 2018, I wanted to explore the benefits of active engagement and library outreach via creative programming and art. We already had a very popular and highly anticipated arts programs series for kids. Time and time again I would hear from parents who wished we also offered craft programs geared towards adults, they wanted in on the fun. In 2019, I set out to fill this need and pitched a casual pop-up program for adults. We made aromatic envelop sachets, paper roses and painted rocks.
When the Glenview Public Library first shut its doors back in March, we found ourselves scrambling to help our patrons. As time went on, we started adapting to change and coming up with new ways to serve our community, and as winter approached and COVID-19 cases began to rise again, we knew there was a chance that the Library would again close to the public. To best serve our patrons, we knew we had to make some adjustments.
In 2019 BC (Before COVID), our library hosted a self-directed program for couples called “Date Night at the Library.” It was quite popular, and the plan was to run this program again this year, but we all know what happens to “best laid plans . . .” Even though we may not be able to invite couples in to explore the library in person, the concept can still be adapted for distance usage. The ultimate purpose is to get people to explore your collection, resources, and services.
I started working at my hometown library when I was 16 and have been working in libraries ever since. The library was my happy place as a teen and in my first year as a school librarian, I hope to bring that feeling to an entire school of teens and teachers alike.
Oregon Public Library went fine free in January 2020. It seems like many moons ago, however, this philosophy change is still making its impact. As an organization, we decided that going fine free was an important change to make. Unfortunately, Oregon has not always had the best perception among community members and we are on a path to change that. Therefore it seemed like an extremely important step to make to have patrons feel welcome. We all know how it feels when we are told we have a fine and unfortunately many patrons feel a sense of shame.
The Fox River Grove Public Library District has created two videos to promote the Library and the Fox River Grove community. The videos were funded by the My Library Is… Grant from the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS). The videos are available on the Library’s YouTube channel, social media, and website, as well as the RAILS My Library Is... website.
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed how patrons and library staff utilize and learn in makerspaces or within their maker communities. Beyond topics of public health and politics, this pandemic has shown the importance of the skills and sense of community that one may gain in makerspaces. A perfect example is masks and other PPE supplies. In many ways, programs and classes where patrons have learned to sew are lifesaving! Let’s review some best practice suggestions to reopening a makerspace safely during this or any pandemic!
After Lisle Library’s Adult and Teen Focus Librarian, Noelle Spicher, started hearing about the success of teen book box programs in other libraries, she began crafting a procedure to try out the program at LLD and it went live in January 2020. A few months after the launch of the teen program, adults began asking if they could have book boxes too, and Noelle went to work figuring out the logistics. The adult program has been running alongside the teen program since October 2020. The steps involved are:
Colona District Public Library’s Youth Services assistant, Bailey Hager, has had a very busy spring and summer. Bailey began a Virtual Story Time in March which will continue indefinitely. She purposefully chose books to match crafts she was demonstrating using items easily found in a home. Bailey used different voices to act out the parts of various characters in the books. Bailey majored in theater and art in college so I think this was more fun than work!
Bridie Murphy faithfully attends story time with Ms. B at the Palos Park Public Library. She listens to the welcome song, looks at all the pictures, and knows when to say goodbye. With the implementation of social distancing regulations, story time looks a little different now. Rather than joining other children in the library, she watches Ms. B on the computer surrounded by her stuffed animals. The location has changed but the heart behind library programs has not.