Library Tools - Directors Connecting In Person

How Directors Find Library Tools and Resources

Staying up-to-date with new tools and services in the evolving library landscape poses a common challenge for directors. As centers of learning, libraries play a critical role in bringing new technology and ideas to their communities. In our quest to understand how new library directors could learn about tools and resources, we conducted a survey and analyzed the results, which we are excited to share! The survey revealed the top sources of information reported by library respondents when searching for library tools and services:

Preferred Resources for Learning About New Library Tools & Resources

Based on these findings, it is evident that libraries consider other libraries their primary source of information. The overwhelming majority of libraries polled emphasized the criticality of collaboration among libraries, from state libraries to local county associations, in disseminating new ideas and best practices. The exchange of ideas extends beyond library tools and resources, encompassing program engagement and even telehealth services.

Library Director in Facebook Group

Is it important to connect with other libraries?

So is it important to connect with other libraries? When asked, over 95% of respondents highlighted networking and connecting with other libraries and librarians as valuable for sharing ideas, resources, and experiences. They emphasized that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when planning new initiatives or completing annual reporting tasks. There are countless libraries willing to share their experiences and expertise!

Library Directors Attending Library Conference

Collaborative partnerships among libraries, vendors, and especially state libraries are viewed as a wonderful way to save time, money, and effort by leveraging solutions that have proven beneficial in other libraries. Networking provides exposure to new ideas, trends, and practices that can be brought back to one's own community. Furthermore, connecting with local businesses and municipal groups offers an additional opportunity to pool resources for larger initiatives.

Library Directors Connecting In Person

Professional development opportunities and active involvement in library associations are crucial for discovering new tools and services. Many respondents highlighted the value of networking for information and idea exchange. Among these associations, the American Library Association (ALA) stands out as a prominent resource. ALA offers a wide range of conferences, workshops, and online resources that empower library directors to stay up to date on emerging trends and innovative practices. Engaging with ALA and other library associations enables directors to forge meaningful connections, tap into years of expertise, and gain valuable insights to enhance their libraries' offerings.

 

Local and Digital Resources

Library Director Recommended Facebook Groups

While time constraints concern some libraries with limited staff, the recognized benefits of connection cannot be ignored. Proactive library directors understand the importance of seeking new ideas to keep their libraries up to date for patrons. Libraries refer to various resources for connection, such as Facebook groups, local association conferences, and state library forums and listservs. We have listed some recommended Facebook groups for libraries below:

Keeping up with new resources and tools is undoubtedly challenging in the ever-evolving library landscape. However, libraries remain dedicated to introducing fresh technology and ideas to their communities. Our analysis of library respondents' preferred sources of information underscores the significance of collaboration and knowledge sharing among libraries. By embracing networking, partnerships, and the resources provided by library associations, directors can effectively navigate the changing library landscape and better serve their communities.

Collaborative partnerships with libraries, vendors, and state libraries offer opportunities to leverage successful solutions and save time, money and effort. Various resources such as Facebook groups, local association conferences, and state library forums, facilitate this process of connection and knowledge sharing. By embracing these strategies, library directors can effectively navigate the evolving library landscape and better serve their communities.  

If you would like to learn how WhoFi can help save time on administrative tasks so that you can focus more on connecting with other libraries for the future of the library you serve then we would like to meet. Visit whofi.com/demo to schedule a time to meet!


library calendar software training

What is Library Calendar Software?

What is library program software and how can it be used to benefit the community you serve? In short, it provides a platform to promote the many wonderful programs and events you provide to the community. Alternative to a physical calendar within the building, library calendar software is an interactive tool for community engagement. Below are some key features of library calendar software and how they can benefit patrons, staff, and the greater community.

Promotion:

library calendar software

One primary feature of library calendar software is the ability to promote the exciting programs being hosted at the library. Program calendars that integrate with the library website provide a simple and accessible platform to inform patrons about upcoming events. Some calendars even provide methods to search and filter events. This makes it easy for patrons to find the programs that interest them the most.

Registration:

The next key feature of library program software is registration. Allowing patrons to register for upcoming events from anywhere is convenient not only for the patron but also for libraries. Advanced notice of attendance for programs allows library staff to ensure proper space, seating, and materials are available at the right time. Additionally it can reduce the
administrative burden of completing registrations on paper or over the phone.

library calendar software registration reminder

Reminders:

Once patrons are registered for upcoming programs the next feature for the library calendar software comes into play. Automatic reminders are another feature of library calendars that allows patrons who have registered for events to receive reminder notifications automatically before events take place. This service helps patrons remember to plan their visit to the library accordingly over the course of the program. This helps increase patron attendance and certainly saves time compared to sending reminders manually.

Team Access:

Tantamount to the success of any library calendar software is accessibility. The next and most critical feature of online
library calendars is the staff’s ability to schedule new events and edit existing ones easily. Rather than relying on a single library calendar software trainingstaff member to manage the library calendar, library calendar software provides real time updates on new programs added by any staff members and in which room. Organizing upcoming programs to ensure proper space capacity and staff availability ensures that programs can run smoothly.

Reporting:

The final feature provided by library calendar software is some form of reporting metric. While the contents of the reports vary by software generally these will include the number of programs hosted over a period of time. The reports should highlight types of programs being hosted by the library, the category or age group they serve, in addition to attendance.

Benefits for Patrons, Staff and the Community:

Library calendar software is a valuable tool for libraries that can benefit patrons, staff, and the greater community. Making it easier for patrons to find for events, and allowing staff to efficiently promote those events, library calendar can help build stronger relationships within the community.

How to Get Started:

So how can libraries create their own program calendar? There are a number of library calendar packages available online which offer user-friendly platforms for libraries to create and manage. WhoFi offers a Library Calendar Software that can help your library simplify its programming and event calendar. Utilizing library specific tools and resources can help libraries streamline their program management process. With these tools, directors can easily organize and manage all their events and programs in one place.

Video:

If you prefer to watch the video of this blog post, please click here: What is Library Calendar Software!

If you would like to streamline program planning, promotion and reporting we would like to hear from you and learn more about your goals. Visit whofi.com/demo or email us at support@whofi.com to set a meeting. If you would like to see videos regarding WhoFi’s library services please visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/@whofi.


Public Library WiFi Usage

Public Library WiFi Usage Q1 2023

First Quarter 2023 Sees Rise in Public Library WiFi Use

The latest data on public library WiFi usage indicates a steady increase in usage during the first quarter of 2023, with libraries working diligently to advance digital equity in their communities. This article explores the potential implications of this trend, from the benefits for patrons and libraries to what the future of public library WiFi may hold. Reliable high speed internet is a critical service offering and one that communities increasingly depend on public libraries to provide.

Monthly Library WiFi Usage

 

Monthly Library WiFi Usage - July to March

According to the latest data, there has been a steady increase in monthly library WiFi usage over the last nine months with seasonal decreases where they might be expected. This trend could indicate increasing reliance on digital access, as well as the crucial role that public libraries play in closing the digital divide. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic libraries have become vital community hubs for individuals who may not have access to reliable internet. The rise in monthly library WiFi usage shows that libraries’ missions to provide equitable access to information and technology are well underway.

Monthly Change in WiFi Usage Comparison
Comparing Results From Previous Years

The beginning of 2023 saw a steady increase in usage with a faster return of patronage in January 2023 than January 2022. While there was already a steady increase in usage, the greater increase could be attributed to fears surrounding variants of the COVID-19 pandemic that were prevalent in the beginning of 2022. The growing number of patrons using library WiFi is proof that the high speed WiFi libraries provide is an increasingly valuable investment in the community. This trend is likely to continue as libraries further invest in their digital infrastructure and adapt to changing community needs.

Digital Equity Being Advanced By Libraries

As more essential services in education, work, and healthcare move online, access to high speed internet has become increasingly crucial. However, not everyone has equal access to digital resources, leading to a digital divide that can have serious consequences. Fortunately, public libraries have recognized this issue and have been working to bridge the gap. By providing free high speed WiFi access to their patrons, libraries are taking a critical step in advancing digital equity in their communities.

The increase in public library WiFi use is a direct indication that libraries are addressing the issue of digital divide head-on. As states prepare their 5 year plans for the BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment) program funding libraries continue to adapt to changing community needs, we can expect this trend to continue with a significant impact on digital equity. It is no wonder that the NTIA has recommended that states partner with community anchors like libraries to help educate and support communities as stronger and more affordable broadband connections become available.

With public libraries playing an essential role in bridging the digital divide, we will continue to monitor progress to see what the future holds for libraries and this massive $42.5 billion program.

Weekly WiFi Usage by Population

Steady Growth in 2023

Public libraries have been working hard to narrow the digital divide that exists in many communities. As a result, there has been a steady growth in public library WiFi usage in the first quarter of 2023. This growth reinforces the vital role that public libraries play in promoting digital equity across the United States.

As public libraries offer free access to the internet and digital resources, they have become a lifeline for many people who cannot afford these services. Libraries have also been providing digital literacy programs to help patrons improve their digital skills.

Libraries are also benefiting from this rise in WiFi usage. By offering free and reliable WiFi, libraries help to strengthen their role in the community as an essential source of information and learning. This, in turn, has attracted more patrons and encourages partnerships and funding bodies for these vital institutions.

What Does the Future Hold for Public Library WiFi?

Looking into the future, it's clear that public library WiFi will remain a crucial component of the modern library. With more and more patrons relying on smartphones, tablets, and laptops for work, education, and entertainment, libraries must continue to provide reliable and high-speed WiFi to meet the needs of their users.

New federal funding from the NTIA should positively impact public library WiFi usage in years to come as libraries are tapped to aid in education and support for new broadband deployments in their communities. However much remains to be seen. Having a standardized way to collect and report this information will allow libraries to easily quantify the impact over time and be a useful tool in future advocacy efforts. In addition to partnering with their states in goals to get communities connected, many libraries are implementing other digital initiatives, such as offering digital media collections, online classes, and computer literacy programs.

Public Library WiFi Usage 2

Overall, the future of public library WiFi is strong. As technology and federal broadband infrastructure continues to evolve, libraries continue to adapt and innovate to ensure that their patrons have access and training on the latest digital resources and tools. By embracing this ongoing challenge, libraries will continue to play a vital role in the lives of their patrons.

Visit whofi.com/demo to schedule a time to review your library goals and priorities surrounding data and storytelling.

 


ALA Conference 2022

Librarians Learn and Grow Despite Staffing Shortages.

Libraries today are increasingly challenged with staffing shortages and budget cuts. Through creative technical solutions, libraries are making the most of their resources to create a culture of learning and growth. In this article, we’ll take a look at opportunities and resources librarians are utilizing to address staffing challenges, advocating for BEAD funding to expand internet access for patrons, and building relationships with their communities and other libraries to grow into the future. With the right strategies in place, libraries have empowered staff to stay ahead of the curve and achieve excellence.

Staffing Shortages

Busy Librarian Managing Opportunities for Growth

Across the country libraries are facing staffing shortages leaving fewer librarians to take on the growing number of responsibilities the library has in the community. Libraries of all sizes are relying on librarians to take on the responsibilities in lieu of new staff. Libraries are looking for creative ways to continue to impact the communities they serve at the same levels as before these staffing challenges arose. One way they are accomplishing this is by reducing the time spent in collecting, organizing, and reporting library specific data. Of course there is value in this reporting, but finding new ways to simplify and make this process easier has been beneficial for many libraries. With time saved librarians have time to use the accurate insights for action. There are a number of methods that libraries are utilizing to combat this common library problem.

ALA Conference 2022
Connect with Other Libraries

First, libraries have shown us that creating a culture of learning and growth begins not with patrons but with library staff themselves. The best opportunities for librarians to learn effectively come from… you guessed it… other libraries! There are a number of groups where libraries get connected whether it’s a Facebook Group like Library Think Tank, a state listserv or forum, or attending a conference in person like the PLA Biannual Conference. Meeting and discussing the contemporary challenges ranging from the aforementioned staff shortage, best practices for addressing book bans, and methods for completing state reports can provide insights to take back to your own library. 

Librarian Attending Virtual Conference
Virtual Conferences

Of course meeting with other libraries regularly, engaging with the community and taking on new initiatives sounds wonderful, but where do these librarians find the time? Technology has provided us with numerous solutions to stay connected in an ever digitized world. Now more than ever it’s easy to connect with other libraries virtually. Forums and virtual conferences provide one easy method to share new ideas. The best practices shared  in these groups can help to improve operations for library staff  and provide insights into new community initiatives like utilizing BEAD funding to help unserved areas gain access to stable high speed internet connection. 

Librarian Helping Patron Digital Equity
Secure Funding for New Initiatives

Libraries are eligible to receive BEAD funding to increase the internet connection speed for both their location up to 1GB/s as well as to promote broadband and digital equity initiatives within communities. This program is a great way for libraries to work with other state entities to improve their communities. Libraries can work with state officials to identify opportunities to leverage existing fiber connections and other infrastructure to extend high-speed internet service to surrounding homes and businesses. If you would like to learn more about how libraries can work with the state to improve digital equity you can review our post from last week here

Making a Difference

Librarians are fostering a culture of learning both internally and for the communities they serve. It’s no secret that digital equity and access to technology are needed in many communities, librarians take an active role in using funding from programs such as BEAD to positively impact the communities they serve. Investing in ongoing learning and professional development opportunities can help ensure every librarian is able to make the greatest impact possible and promote digital equity where it’s needed the most. We are thankful to every librarian and the difference they make in their communities. 

To learn more about WhoFi and how we help simplify reporting on library services allowing staff more time for planning and professional development please visit whofi.com/demo or email support@whofi.com.  We look forward to  learning more about your library and goals.


Library Patrons Studying Together

How Libraries Can Work with States to Utilize BEAD Funding for Digital Equity

Planning in Process
Library Patrons Using the WiFi

As states develop their BEAD 5-year plans, they are advised by the NTIA's Notice of Funding Opportunity to leverage “existing infrastructure” and to “minimize BEAD program outlays” in order to stretch the funds to the best possible effect. Many anchor institutions across the country already have publicly-funded fiber connections which could be leveraged to connect the surrounding community. Anchors with less than 1 gig connections are eligible for BEAD funds and could be a key tenant on last-mile network builds. Extending service from anchor institutions to surrounding homes via wireless could be a particularly cost-effective way to connect unserved and underserved homes.

In this article, we will explore the potential role of anchor institutions, such as libraries, in advancing connectivity to the unserved and underserved through the BEAD program. We would like to give special thanks to the SHLB Coalition and its Do Anchors Hold the Key to BEAD’s Success webinar for providing valuable insights and information that contributed to this blog post. If you would like to hear the full discussion from broadband experts in various sectors, you can view it here: https://vimeo.com/shlb/doanchorsholdthekeytobeadssuccess.

Why Libraries Should Partner with States

Library Patrons Using Fast BEAD WiFi

The Pew Research Center has outlined several key considerations for states seeking to access federal BEAD funding for high-speed internet expansion. These include:

  • Developing a comprehensive state plan that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved communities;
  • Leveraging existing infrastructure to minimize program outlays;
  • Focusing on last-mile solutions that connect homes and businesses;
  • Building public-private partnerships to achieve greater impact and sustainability.
Best Practices for Libraries Working with States

Anchor institutions have a key role to play in the digital equity efforts of BEAD funding. Libraries can serve as connectivity hubs and deploy grants to accommodate the unserved and unconnected education. By following these best practices, libraries can play an important role in advancing connectivity and closing the digital divide in their communities.

  1. Build partnerships with state agencies and other stakeholders to identify and prioritize areas of need. By working with state officials, libraries can help ensure that BEAD funds are directed to the areas where they will have the greatest impact.
  2. Leverage existing infrastructure to minimize program outlays. Libraries can work with state officials to identify opportunities to leverage existing fiber connections. This can serve to extend high-speed internet service to surrounding homes and businesses.
  3. Focus on last-mile solutions that connect homes and businesses. Libraries can work with internet service providers to identify and prioritize last-mile projects that will connect unserved and underserved communities.
  4. Build public-private partnerships to achieve greater impact and sustainability. Libraries can work with state officials, internet service providers, and other stakeholders to build partnerships that leverage the strengths of each partner to achieve greater impact and sustainability.
Get Involved with Your State

Library Patrons Studying Together

Libraries wishing to take an active role in the digital equity efforts in their surrounding communities should reach out to the group or entity receiving BEAD funds for their state. Below are a few states and the links to access the relevant offices. Every state has been awarded planning funds according to Telecompetitor and the NTIA. With this money the agencies and departments responsible for deployment can now begin developing their 5 year plans. 

Now is an excellent time for libraries to reach out to their states  and get involved in the planning processes. Many states are hosting meetings with local governments to discuss the best process for deploying broadband initiatives such as the State of Iowa found here. Other states have dedicated Broadband offices which already have some information available on the state’s 5 year plan such as the State of South Dakota found here. Building relationships with these state entities is a great way to ensure successful deployment of BEAD funds within your community. 

We’ve gathered a list of some of these agencies and their websites by state for your convenience:

 

Over the next 5 years all 50 states are a part of this $42.5 billion project to support digital equity. The best way to ensure the BEAD program’s success is to involve community stakeholders like libraries. These community anchors can connect broadband offices with the patrons who will need their services. 

Advocating for funding requires both compelling stories as well as data to support them. If you would like to learn more about simplifying reporting on library services, we would like to learn more about your library. Visit whofi.com/demoor email us at support@whofi.com to schedule a meeting.

 


Doland Community Ceiling Tile Project

Small town libraries making a big impact

Doland Community Library

The Doland Community Library relies on its director Natasha Noethlich to carry out most of its services. In an effort to ensure all of the library’s upcoming events were available to the public, Natasha added the Community Calendar from WhoFi to the library website. Natasha can now share the library's upcoming events such as the Ceiling Tile Painting Project going on now. You can see some of the great designs the community has come up with below:

Doland Community Library Ceiling Tile Project

Events like these show that even down to the fixtures the library and its director are made by the community for the community. In providing additional visibility Natasha hopes to help bring even more of the community together.

Auburn Public Library

Donetta Stewart serves Auburn Public Library and its community even when she’s not at the library. Before utilizing WhoFi services, provided by the State Library of Iowa, Donetta had no way of gathering WiFi session counts for advocacy or state reporting. Donetta would often see people sitting outside of the library on Sundays using the WiFi and knew that despite not being open the library’s services were still being relied upon by patrons.

Auburn Public Library Impact

Two years ago Donetta began using WhoFi services for WiFi Usage as well as Community Calendar. Utilizing monthly reports on WiFi usage Donetta was able to put numbers behind the story for the board and secure grant funds for a new solar charger for patrons outside of the library.

Solar Charger Outside of Auburn Public LibraryDonetta is also utilizing the Community Calendar to share about weekly gatherings and state webinars. She says that it has helped, “efficiently track programs, their target audience, and the attendance more easily” and input them into the annual state report.

Small Town Libraries Make a Big Impact

In a recent article from Library Journal doctors Gustina and Norton said, “when libraries operate as one of—if not the only—public resources in their community, then the town’s success will be the institution’s success.”

Natasha and Donetta both serve as library directors in towns with populations less than 500. It is not uncommon for them to wear many hats while trying to provide services that will positively impact the communities they serve. You can see stories from other partners using technology to advocate for their communities here. By leveraging tools like WhoFi both Natasha and Donetta are able to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time serving the needs of the community.

Reducing the reporting burden allows for time to use the information to positively impact the communities libraries serve. If you would like to see if the WhoFi service is right for you please click the button below to schedule a time to connect. We look forward to learning more about your library and community!

Schedule a Demo


Library WiFi Usage 2020-2022

Annual Analysis of Public Library WiFi Usage in 2022

WhoFi analyzed data from our library partners to identify library WiFi usage trends. This report includes our findings for 2022.
Public Library Insights for 2022

Looking over the WiFi insights from 2022 there were encouraging trends indicating that library service usage is growing and seasonality may be more predictable in the coming years. When we conducted our research using data from libraries throughout the United States there were positive signs of continued growth in usage for services like WiFi. These services offered in communities by libraries are vital for many who would otherwise lack connection, and in 2022 libraries were as close as they have been to pre-pandemic usage.

As the world continues to seek a “new normal” post-pandemic we may be closer to finding just that. This year many systems and larger library groups saw usage numbers within 90% of usage prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more of the community came out to engage with the library for education, research, and internet access we also began to see more predictability surrounding changes in seasonality and major holidays. This return to standard usage patterns could be a further indication that libraries are one step closer to the “new normal” following the pandemic.

Public Library WiFi Usage 2022

In 2022 libraries seem to be adjusted to having both in-person and virtual programs. Most have now returned to full in-person service. During the pandemic many libraries adjusted their program and service offerings to include upgrades like faster WiFi, virtual programs, and even expanded WiFi coverage outside of the building. This year we saw sustained growth among casual and frequent users as well as greater similarities between population groups.

Q4 WiFi Usage 2020-2022

Why more patrons visited libraries in 2022

We continued to see numbers closer to those before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. Increase in usage could be attributed to a number of factors including decreased infection numbers, better treatment, vaccines available to all ages, as well as a growing remote workforce. The remote workforce in particular could be drawn to the library for their WiFi in order to conduct important Zoom meetings, document uploads, and other important tasks that require faster internet speeds. The data shows that the number of patrons taking advantage of the many resources libraries offer has increased to levels not seen in the past couple years, as we can see in this year-over-year comparison of Q4 usage.

 

How seasonal decreases in Q4 may be a positive sign

As in previous years, there was a decrease in usage during the fourth quarter of 2022 likely attributable to seasonality decreases around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Looking at the data we can see that the week of Thanksgiving had a noticeable decrease in usage and the week leading up to and following Christmas were even lower. This drop in usage during the holidays is fairly ubiquitous over the years. The fact that seasonality was the major driver of changes in 2022 as opposed to pandemic years is a positive sign that we are approaching a "new normal" for library usage. 

Q4 2022 Weekly WiFi Usage

Return of the casual library user

Libraries over the past two years have slowly opened their doors to the public and the first high usage patrons to return were of course those who relied on the library most consistently. High use patrons were also those that returned on a regular basis to utilize library information, internet, and in-person programs first. Casual users are those who visit the library on occasion to check out books, attend programs, or utilize public computers and the internet. In 2022 we saw those patrons who are returning to public spaces and gatherings for the first time since the pandemic shutdowns began in addition to high use patrons. This return of the casual user could indicate nearing a return to normal in 2022.

Interpreting insights for 2023

The data from 2022 reveals that communities continue to rely on libraries for consistent internet connection and services at an increasing rate. We can see that libraries have an important role in bridging the digital divide in communities. Providing a safe space for patrons to conduct research, study for school, work remotely, and gather for events are just a few of the areas where libraries are contributing to their communities. As more casual users return to libraries we have further indications that libraries continue to be an essential service for communities. WhoFi will continue to monitor these and any new trends that arise in 2023. 

Library WiFi Usage 2020-2022

Understanding how patrons utilize library services allows library staff to make data-influenced decisions on how best to engage with their community. Insights from WiFi analytics will continue to be beneficial to libraries in planning and advocating for the future of their institutions. 

Libraries that partner with WhoFi have helped simplify the reporting processes while ensuring the information collected is standardized for the library board, state and IMLS reporting. If you would like to learn more about how we help libraries reduce reporting burdens, we would like to hear from you. Please visit WhoFi.com/Demo to schedule a meeting!


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.

 

Schedule a Demo


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.