Community Calendar New Dashboard Design

WhoFi Launches New Dashboard Design

Dashboard Design

This month WhoFi has launched a new dashboard design to improve upon the simplicity and ease of use already offered to our partners. This new design functionality is similar to previous versions such that everything is easy to navigate for existing users. In addition to cosmetic updates we have included some updates to the design of those reports most commonly utilized by partners. 

New Dashboard

 

WiFi Analytics

First, all WiFi reports can now be found in the filter drop down for WiFi Usage. From there libraries can access all of the same reports they already use for advocacy and reporting. Monthly downloadable reports can be found in the same spot on the menu as in the previous design.

New vs Return Users WiFi

 

Community Calendar

Next, the Community Calendar create menu now features three tabs to organize information for events:

  • Events includes all the information necessary to create an event in Community Calendar
  • Event Details where libraries can include internal notes about the upcoming event as well as their category and their virtual platform as needed
  • Integrations which allows libraries to input all the details to be listed on the library’s website. This includes details patrons may find helpful such as the description, registration, organizer information, image to be displayed, and more.
Attendance in the Archive Menu

Finally, the Archive menu is an easy place to enter any additional attendance information after events have ended. Any information not included when the event was created can be added easily from this menu. Also, as always the filter view makes it simple to export attendance data quickly.

Archive Menu

 

All updates to the WhoFi dashboard are based on library feedback in order to reduce the reporting burdens felt by library staff. We hope that our partners will continue to provide excellent feedback to continue development into the future.

If you have any questions regarding the WhoFi service or how we can alleviate administrative burdens for your library please contact us at support@whofi.com.


How Stubbs Memorial Library Advocated for Mini-Park WiFi Expansion

The front entrance to the Stubbs Memorial Library

Emily Todd began her work at the Stubbs Memorial Library in 2014 before becoming director in 2017. Born in Holstein, she has a passion for the community there and her predecessors were no different. Since 2010 Stubbs Memorial Library has offered 24/7 WiFi access to patrons but did not have a way to estimate WiFi usage outside of library hours making advocacy difficult.

 

As a free local resource patrons visit libraries like Stubbs Memorial to use the internet for work, research, and personal development everyday. However, putting these experiences to paper can be a challenge to the people advocating for the library, especially while protecting the privacy of their patrons.

 

Libraries play a critical role in the community providing for those lacking internet access as patrons increasingly rely on stable connection for everyday activities. While all libraries report on their internet usage for the state report, the methods used to gather the information often involve estimations or complicated processes. These processes can result in incomplete information that misses engagement with patrons.

Advocating for Expansion

Libraries who share their WiFi usage and the stories behind them are better able to advocate for boards to expand services for patrons and thereby improve communities. In fact in 2020 Emily was able to utilize WiFi usage data from WhoFi and stories of patrons using the WiFi after hours sitting near the doors of the library to advocate for an expansion of the service. Emily said that WhoFi’s WiFi usage service, “allows us to give real numbers and stories to support keeping our WIFI on 24/7 as a service.”

Stubbs Memorial Mini Park Cupola & New Bench

Since 2020 the Stubbs Memorial Library Mini-Park has provided WiFi thanks to a grant from the PLA and Microsoft.

As communities connect more and more via the internet for communication, learning, and development, having access is critical for individuals. For the Stubbs Memorial Library adapting to a world of personal devices means that some patrons will continue to use library services without even entering the building.

Mini-Park Revitalization

Since 1976 visitors to the Stubbs Memorial Library have also been able to pay a visit to the mini-park that began as a volunteer Earth Day project. Now patrons and visitors to Holstein can visit the library’s mini-park any time to charge and connect devices to the library WiFi. This new expansion includes new benches, picnic tables equipped with outlets and of course extended range to the park for patrons using library WiFi.

New Mini Park Pathway

Emily said that adding this service serves the community visibly but also those patrons who do rely on having internet access around the clock. The Mini-Park at Stubbs Memorial Library is a fantastic example of libraries seeing and meeting the needs of their community. While the Mini-Park is a unique concept, the need for internet access exists in every community. Libraries are well positioned to meet this need as the digital divide remains a pervasive issue.

 

Stubbs Memorial Mini-Park Replica & Cupola

 

If you would like to learn more about advocating for your library or community space with WiFi usage insights, please click the button below to connect with us! We would love to hear from you and learn more about your current needs.

 

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WhoFi YouTube Channel Zoom

WhoFi YouTube Channel Launch

Libraries Can Access the WhoFi YouTube Channel at youtube.com/@whofi

Partners gain access to our videos on useful reports and functionality within the WhoFi dashboard with our new YouTube channel. Anytime new users are added at the library they can get up to speed on WhoFi quickly. When a product update is released partners will be able to see the functionality firsthand so they get started using it easily.

With the launch of the WhoFi YouTube channel we aim to provide all libraries with a clear view of our services. Considering partnering with WhoFi? This is a great place to see how the services could benefit your library. 

A view of the WhoFi YouTube Channel.

 

Our channel is the perfect way to see at how we help libraries simplify reporting to their board and state. Accordingly, libraries looking for specific details on our services or the metrics we provide can find the answers they need easily with videos for many of our services.

 

Helpful WhoFi YouTube Videos:

Community Calendar Introduction Video

Partner library feedback led to the creation of Community Calendar. Getting useful information on programs at the library as well as their attendance is important to the state. Community Calendar provides a centralized platform where library staff can enter program information. Reporting to the state with new questions and definition changes can be done without the need to compile countless spreadsheets.

 

WiFi Session Count Report Video

Our WiFi Session Count Report video shows valuable insights the report provides for the state and to advocate for your library. The session count report is one of the first reports designed by WhoFi specifically for libraries. Join Ashleigh as she gives you all the information you need to start using this report.

 

Tailor-Made Registration Tutorial Video

The latest product update Tailor-Made Registration provides libraries the opportunity to gather more than just contact information for programs that need it. Many libraries requested this additional functionality to give them notice of patron needs ahead of events. Now it available for use by request in every partner dashboard following recent development. Partners should first watch the video above and then visit their WhoFi dashboard to get started!

 

 

We hope that this video library will be helpful to partners learning a new tool as well as for existing partners who would like a brief refresher on specific services. The best way to get updates on new videos that could benefit your library is to subscribe to our channel. Please contact us at support@whofi.com for more information or to schedule a demonstration for your library.


Public Library WiFi Usage Prior 12 Months

Public Library WiFi Usage Insights Q3 2022

Sustained growth has been an ongoing theme in 2022 and the third quarter proved to be no exception with an 8% increase in public library WiFi usage compared with the prior quarter. Looking at data from the Summer there seem to be some interesting trends emerging compared to last year. Particularly the change among certain service population ranges. Reviewing usage trends we have identified fluctuations in usage relevant to library service offerings and how patrons will interact with libraries in the future.

Library Internet Usage Quarterly Comparison

As the world faces a "new normal" there are some activities that have clearly changed since before the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the time and manner in which patrons use the library services. Libraries have expanded their WiFi offerings to provide their communities 24/7 access, stronger signal, and even extended range for patrons outside of the library proper in nearby outdoor spaces. Regardless of the cause it is clear that patrons are making sustained use of libraries’ WiFi offerings.

Compared with the third quarter of 2021 WiFi usage has increased dramatically by 94% this quarter as can be seen on the right.

 

Q3 WiFi Usage Year-to-Date

Sustaining Growth in WiFi Usage Year-Over-Year

Digging deeper into the growth we can see over the past quarters just how much public library WiFi usage has grown. Compared with year-to-date usage in the third quarter of 2021, the third quarter of 2022 saw usage increased by 105% more than doubling last year's activity. This metric is exciting to see as it further indicates the importance of the free WiFi for community spaces in the digital age. Patrons use public library WiFi at increasing rates indicating this metric will continue to be important to keep up with for advocacy purposes.

 

Weekly WiFi Usage by Population Size

Over the course of the quarter, weekly WiFi usage remained fairly consistent over time with a few notable exceptions. The weeks of the Fourth of July and Memorial Day experienced small dips in usage as in years previous as you can seen on the right. June and July saw nearly identical WiFi usage rates and resumed the typical seasonal increase in usage through August and into September. While there was variance in growth among the service population  ranges each group had an overall increase in the third quarter.

Q3 Weekly WiFi Usage By Service PopulationMonthly Change in Library Internet Usage

 

 

October 2021 to September 2022 Results 

As we approach the new baseline of patron utilization referenced in previous reports, libraries continue to set post-pandemic records for WiFi usage every month. Every month since March 2022 has had greater usage than October 2021, the highest usage month for that year. We are seeing less and less unattributed change as we grow closer to the new baseline. This means libraries have an opportunity to measure the impact of the changes they are making without skewed results due to the pandemic.

What does this mean for these libraries and how can they best serve their community going forward? 

We will keep an eye out this Winter to note any non-seasonal trends in usage. It is clear from the data that patrons continue to utilize library WiFi in greater numbers. This valuable community resource is important now more than ever in a post-pandemic society. This is due in part to new remote workers and distance education learners. Advocating for these patrons will be critical for libraries to thrive in the digital age.

 

 

Library Internet Usage Quarterly Comparison

Please contact us if you would like to simplify your library's reporting process!

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Library Program Seating

5 Reasons To Use Registration for Your Next Library Program

One key element of a successful library program is registration for patrons. While collection methods may vary, the best registration processes can result in more successful programs with more engaged guests. In fact in an article from Science & Technology Libraries researchers found that, "customized communication is at the root of successful library programming". Here are just a few points in the planning process that easy registration could improve programs & events at the library:

Library Program Registration Benefits

1. Visibility for Library Patrons

You’ve got lots of exciting library programs coming up at the library but you are concerned you may not reach as many as you could. Keeping events visible for patrons and offering registration ensures that everyone who wants to attend can register. While having registration available at the library or over the phone is great it could bog down staff for larger programs and preclude some patrons from registering. Offering registration online is one way to ensure visibility for patrons even when they are not at the library and save staff time filling out forms.

2. Limited Seating & Space

The next program at your library could be an art class requiring plenty of natural light and space for easels. Concurrently, you may need to find space and seating for a larger group gathering to hear a guest speaker. Not all programs are made the same or require the same amount of space.  Placing smaller groups in smaller rooms while reserving larger spaces for larger groups is critical for their success. Only have space for 10 people in the smaller room? Set the Registration limit to 10, and any extra guests can go on the waitlist in the meantime! Registration makes this process simple by giving program coordinators options to reserve the right space.

3. Program Materials Preparation

Keeping every program supplied with the right materials is another way that registration can keep events running smoothly. Running out of prizes for Summer reading programs or ingredients for cooking class could hurt a program’s success. Overspending on materials that go unused can be limited by knowing how many people will be in attendance up front. 

4. Registered Patron Reminders

Life happens and sometimes patrons forget about an upcoming library event that they'd like to attend.  One way to help prevent library programs from falling through the calendar cracks is by reminding patrons about them. It would be a tedious process to give everyone a call or email personally. A simple automatic reminder email can help boost attendance without adding additional work to program coordinators’ plates.  For libraries using WhoFi, when patrons register for events, they always receive a reminder e-mail 24 hours before the event starts.

5. Standardized Record Keeping

Libraries have one step left after a program has run its course, reporting! Without registration library staff would have to rely on visual counts during the events recorded on either paper, spreadsheets, or some combination of the two. Libraries are great at storing records safely, but they still have to review them later to get totals for state questions. By collecting registration in advance, reporting processes are sped up and simplified by getting the right fields completed in advance. 

 

Partner libraries brought up registration as a key issue on the subject of programs and community events. In an effort to reduce the burden felt by library staff and enhance patron experience, registration has been added to WhoFi’s existing Community Calendar tool. If you would like to learn more about Community Calendar and how WhoFi can help improve your library program registration processes, please get in touch!

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