Once upon a time, there was a library nestled amid farm fields in Central Illinois. Now, this library was not big, but its patrons loved the library, and the library loved all the people that came to visit. The kind people who ran the library wanted to do everything they could to provide materials and services to their patrons that could not be found elsewhere.
In May of 2022, a patron came up to the Reference Desk at the Northbrook Public Library asking for help with her new cell phone. She said that she had previously used a flip phone, but was told by her phone provider that they no longer supported it and that she needed to get a smartphone. She said that she didn't know how to use a smartphone, even to make or receive a call and she was concerned she was going to miss an important call from her doctor.
Libraries are magical places. In fact, the Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton, Illinois is truly enchanted. In 2018, former maintenance supervisor, David Ward, noticed that a fairy door had appeared on the children’s floor. Two more doors were discovered shortly after on the library’s main floor and in the periodicals room.
Back in June, it was with cautious optimism that I emailed our staff to say “we’re getting the band back together!” It was time to dust off the prize wheel, order tchotchkes, air out the tent, and get back out into the community for some personal interaction with residents. We received a number of invitations to fests and gatherings, and I said yes to as many as I thought we could handle. We had great fun, meaningful conversations, and new experiences. Here are some bullet points to consider as your outreach schedule comes back to life:
The pandemic made Zoom a household word, even if many people were unfamiliar with the platform of the capabilities. I created this infographic to share with our patrons as a step-by-step guide on how to use Zoom for meetings.