WiFi Analytics Gave Brenda Tools To Help Patrons

Brenda Miller is the director of New Madison Public Library. The pandemic changed the way her library’s patrons interacted with the library and used its resources. Before COVID-19 caused the library to close its doors, patrons would come into the library building to sit and use the free WiFi, browse books, enjoy children’s programming or just have a safe place to hang out. 

So when the library doors closed because of the pandemic, Brenda noticed different patron behavior, like outdoor and after hours WiFi use. Brenda kept her library’s WiFi on so patrons could still use it while outside. And they did. People would sit outside of the library with their laptops to use the WiFi, or sit in their cars in the parking lot. 

Brenda used the WhoFi WiFi analytics system that her state purchased for libraries to identify usage trends and determine when patrons were using the library WiFi, how often and for how long. Another new trend she discovered from the WiFi analytics data was that people were using the library WiFi after hours. So even though library doors were closed, patrons still needed the library’s resources and help, and Brenda was determined to make sure that need was met. 

WiFi Data Backs Up Local Experiences 

Brenda used the information provided with the WiFi analytics to provide concrete data to the library board to back up the decision to purchase stronger broadband and extend the WiFi signal. This allowed her library to strengthen the WiFi and extend the signal so more people could use it while sitting outside the library or in the parking lot. She knew the library needed to provide more robust WiFi, particularly during the height of the pandemic, and having numbers to prove that this was necessary reinforced the value of this library service. 

As librarians across the country had similar experiences with patron behavior, the WhoFi team noticed trends among all library partners as well. So we compiled all of the data and produced a quarterly report for all libraries throughout the pandemic. Brenda said these reports were particularly helpful since she could see large scale trends that reflected what she experienced locally. She shared the quarterly reports with the board so they, too, could feel comfortable knowing that their local library is making the best decisions for their particular community and their experience is shared among libraries across the country. 

Local Stories Make It All The Way To The Governor 

Over time, Brenda started to recognize people who would frequent the library parking lot to use the WiFi. One of the regulars was a local high school student who came to the library every day to use the WiFi from the parking lot to participate in remote classes and do homework. There’s plenty of stories like this across communities. This is a real life example that highlights the need for adequate funding for stronger library WiFi. 

Brenda shared this story, and other patrons using library WiFi from the parking lot, with her state directors and the story made it all the way to the governor. Many people in the community can’t get WiFi at home sufficient for remote learning and coursework, and they rely on the library to provide this essential service. Sharing stories and experiences matters as the news travels to decision makers, but having data to back it up makes it even more compelling. 

Making Data-influenced Decisions To Help Patrons

Brenda adapted her library’s service offerings to the new normal, which was providing services from a distance, rather than in-person. She found ways to offer services, like free WiFi, and maintain the community connections while following COVID safety protocols. The WhoFi WiFi analytics program gave her the insight and confidence to make decisions that would help patrons during a crisis, and everyday thereafter. 

About WhoFi

WhoFi provides libraries with wireless session counts, for advocacy, operational improvements related to the patron experience, and for the annual PLS and state surveys. To learn more about how libraries can use WiFi insights to improve patron services, schedule a demo to see how it all works. 

 


How Community Calendar Helped Lola

Lola DeWall is the library director for Pocahontas Public Library. The pandemic transformed the way her library, like many across the country, offered programming. Before March 2020, Pocahontas Public Library offered in-person programming and got by using old methods of tracking attendance like hand tallying on paper. That method of tracking program attendance was already arduous and time consuming, and with all of the upheaval the pandemic caused, it quickly became very difficult to keep up. 

Lola kept track of all her library programs on paper, which meant she had to hand tally each participant for each program on a piece of paper. Then, she went back and added up all of the participants for each group of programs, like children’s story time or adult programs, and kept all of the pieces of paper stored in a file. Since everything was done by hand with pen and paper, she had to create her own categories for the programs her library was offering and then group things by these categories. This was a time consuming and tedious task that took time away from other big picture projects.  

One major drawback of the hand tallying paper method (other than it takes so much time) is that there is no way to see historical trends, helpful graphs or a way to organize numbers. She knew this old method wasn’t going to work for them and she needed a new solution, fast. 

The Right Solution at the Right Time 

Lola had been using the WhoFi WiFi analytics program that her state provided to its libraries, and a new feature recently became available that showed her a simpler way to track programs. It was the solution she was looking for and she took advantage of the feature right away.

Community Calendar is an all-in-one library program planner that streamlines program calendars and makes it easy to report program attendance for the Public Library Survey. Community Calendar is designed to help libraries plan and monitor both their online and in-person programming attendance.  It is also used to help grow the community and increase patron engagement by making programming more visible.

She started to use the Community Calendar feature at her library to help plan, manage and track program attendance. Since the Community Calendar already has every category and program type needed for the PLS report, all Lola needed to do was count attendance and enter the total number into the specific program within the dashboard. That’s it!  Counting, reporting, and organizing the programs was already done for her. 

Easy Integration and Happy Partners

Lola loves that Community Calendar has preset categories that match what’s required for the PLS survey. It’s so simple and easy and saves her tons of time. Not to mention she can be sure she has accurate data for the PLS report and for internal planning purposes. 

She loves how simple and easy it is to use and that the WhoFi programs constantly adapt to what libraries need based on feedback. She’s even told other libraries in her area about it! 

COVID Created a Problem That Needed a Good Solution

Librarians adapted their programs to the new normal, which was finding connections online, rather than in-person. They found ways to translate their in-person programs to the digital space to keep patrons engaged, offer support, and maintain their community connections while following COVID safety protocols. 

And it worked!

The evergreen ingenuity and adaptability of libraries and swift response to community needs created new challenges with online and in-person program planning and attendance tracking. Library programming was changing fast, and there wasn’t an efficient or effective way to track online or outdoor programs. They needed a solution, and now there is one in Community Calendar.

The biggest benefit of Community Calendar is that it gives you back more time, assures accurate reporting, and fits exactly with what you need to fill out the PLS survey.

If this sounds like something that you think can help your library, schedule a demo today and see how your library can benefit from Community Calendar. 

 


Community Calendar Makes Library Program Planning Easy

Libraries across the country are adapting to the digital age with more online programming and digital resources available for patrons. This growth can make it complicated to plan, track and manage programs in various formats and on various platforms. 

While libraries advance and grow their programs, the way they account for attendance is stuck in the past. Hand tallying and paper trails are cumbersome and time consuming. There’s a better way!

 At WhoFi, we want to make your job easier by automating tasks that take your time away from patrons and helping you get the information you need to plan for the future of your library. Community Calendar is the solution to program planning for libraries in the digital age. 

What Is Community Calendar? 

Community Calendar is a reporting tool to help libraries understand their programming and better serve the community. It’s an easy-to-use system to schedule programs and view insights – all in one place. This tool makes it easy to schedule, manage, and count attendance at all programs and events.

The program creates the data graphs and charts that provide an easy-to-read report with the click of a button. It doesn’t require a lot of time and anyone can use it, no special spreadsheet or IT skills necessary. 

You Can Easily Create and Manage Program Categories

Community Calendar has preset categories for every PLS type (children’s and adult programs) so you can define clear categories and programs to create consistent reporting. When you set-up and schedule an event, you can select from various preset categories (that are required for PLS reporting) and pull reports for all of it after the event. 

For example, when you are scheduling your program, you can select the program platform (such as Facebook or Zoom), choose the type (live virtual or recorded), choose the location (virtual or in-person) in addition to the program type (children, youth, young adult or adult). When you are done creating the program, all of the information for the program category will be included in the posting and stored in the system so you can easily see attendance for every program and sort by category. 

It Makes Counting Program Attendance Simple

When the program is over, simply enter the total number of attendees into the system for that specific program. All of your program information and counts will be stored in one place where you can reference it at any time. This makes it easy to keep track of program attendance, rather than keeping track of various sheets of paper. You’ll also be able to pull reports that show you program attendance for every program and category. The reports show you an overview, detailed breakdown and graph so you can easily interpret the data and get what you need for PLS reports. 

How Does Community Calendar Benefit Your Library?

 You save time, reduce stress and get more accurate numbers for program attendance. Library directors and staff use these insights during board meetings and with just a few clicks you can easily pull reports and numbers you’ll need for the PLS report. 

Preset categories mirror exactly what will be required to fill out the PLS, which means you spend less time tallying, totaling and counting on various papers or spreadsheets. The layout makes it easy to view specific data points of interest (like program categories), whereas spreadsheets have everything in view with no way to select or sort for specific views. 

The biggest benefit of Community Calendar is that it gives you back more time, assures accurate reporting, and fits exactly with what you need to fill out the PLS survey. Time and convenience are major benefits of using the Community Calendar. 

Schedule a demo today and see how your library can benefit from Community Calendar. 


Public Library Insights Q3 2021

When analyzing WiFi insights data and looking for usage trends over the past year, we’ve identified clear fluctuations in use that seem to correlate with particular service areas, important timelines in the pandemic, and/or library outreach efforts. As we look at the data for Q3, there are some interesting changes to these numbers, along with a steady increase in WiFi usage across service areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly brought about many changes in the way patrons interact with their libraries and how libraries serve their communities. These changes seem to be contributing to the WiFi usage trends, as many libraries have extended their WiFi services by leaving it on 24/7 and creating stronger signals for patrons who use WiFi in the parking lot.

What does WiFi usage look like compared to Q3 of 2020? In 2021, there continues to be a steady increase and at a much higher usage rate which means more patrons are using the WiFi this year.

View Report as PDF

The following graph shows the comparison between 2020 and 2021.

Why are more people using the library’s WiFi now?

In our last report we noted that there was a new higher WiFi usage trend that appeared to start in March 2021 and continued through Q3. This could be related to vaccinations being deployed, reopenings, and warmer weather. Historically, libraries have had higher WiFi usage in warmer weather, and this is true this year. The charts below show the increase in WiFi usage during the middle of the summer while school is out, and it tapers off a bit in late summer/early fall as school is starting up again. Even with a slight monthly dip in Q3 2021, the numbers are still higher than compared to Q3 2020.

The chart below shows just how much of an increase year over year there's been.

The urban populations have seen a much higher percentage increase in WiFi use for Q3 than rural areas. This could be attributed to the fact that rural areas had already regained their usage rates and urban areas are now catching up as the need increases, and seasonality, as mentioned above.

The chart below shows a significant increase in July vs. June for the 15,000 - 100,000 and 100,001 - 1,000,000 populations sizes. Then a slower increase in the following months. Notably, the 7,501 - 15,000 population size showed the most fluctuation month to month in Q3, which also happened during Q2.

The chart below shows the change in WiFi usage during Q3 based on population size.

Weekly and monthly usage

Looking at WiFi usage trends on a weekly and monthly basis provides insight into exact times when patron behavior changed and if it correlates with any particular event. You'll see the usage rates were mostly steady, with a couple of decreases in early July and September. These decreases correspond with the July 4th and Labor Day holidays.

The graph below shows the national week by week Q3 WiFi usage.

The graph below shows the month over month changes in 2021. You'll notice just how much of an increase there's been overall in 2021.

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

The data is clear: WiFi is a valuable resource the libraries offer to help their communities. As libraries begin to prepare for the year ahead and planning for the future, tracking WiFi usage could prove beneficial for library advocacy efforts, operational improvements, strategic planning, and accurate reporting for the PLS survey. Having such information can give libraries the tools they need to secure funding to provide more and better services, and even help guide decisions on how to best use their space.

Carrying insights into the future.

This data solidifies the importance of public libraries within the communities they serve. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, lack of internet access was a big problem – now it’s critical. Throughout the pandemic, public libraries have continued to help patrons stay connected to school, work, and family. In addition, they continue to help provide social service assistance for their community members through filing for unemployment, Census registration, and job searches.

The knowledge we’ve gained from WiFi insights will continue to influence how libraries interact with the communities they serve.


Program Planning For Public Libraries In The Digital Age

As more programs move outside of the library or on a virtual platform, libraries are struggling to find ways to account for program attendance. A hodgepodge of meeting room scheduling software, excel spreadsheets and manual tabulations just isn’t meeting the needs of the modern library in the digital age. 

Libraries are seeing program attendance that’s higher than it’s ever been because online platforms can make programs available to more people, since there’s no space or time restrictions like there is within a physical building. In addition, virtual programs are getting more views after the event has ended, which adds to the higher number of program attendees. 

Things can quickly become complicated and arduous when trying to count attendance for library programs in the new normal. But it doesn’t have to be! 

How Can Libraries Account For Both Online And In-Person Programs?

With the complexities of having both in-person and online programming comes new challenges for accounting for attendance. Library governing bodies recognize the need to account for these new ways of patron engagement, so individual libraries need to find a way to document and report all programs. 

Community Calendar was developed from feedback from our library partners who expressed the need for a better way to track program attendance. So let’s take a look and compare the Community Calendar to the Excel spreadsheet tracking method. 

How Is Community Calendar Different From Excel Spreadsheet Tracking Methods?

The frustrations we heard from library partners was that excel spreadsheets require a lot of time. This is time that could be spent helping patrons or more big picture library operations. It requires constant upkeep and maintenance, which provides many opportunities for errors. With spreadsheets, you have to input everything and create any charts, graphs or formulas. 

Your spreadsheet skills need to be pretty good to produce the kind of data you’d get with an advanced application like Community Calendar. 

Community Calendar is a dynamic tool to track multimodal programs. The program creates the data graphs and charts that provide an easy-to-read report with the click of a button. It doesn’t require a lot of time and anyone can use it, no special skills necessary. 

Preset categories mirror exactly what will be required to fill out the PLS. The layout makes it easy to view specific data points of interest, whereas spreadsheets have everything in view with no way to select or sort for specific views. 

The biggest benefit of Community Calendar is that it gives you back more time, assures accurate reporting, and fits exactly with what you need to fill out the PLS survey. Time and convenience are major benefits of using the Community Calendar. 

Schedule a demo today and see how your library can benefit from Community Calendar. 

 

 


Public Libraries Solution To Meeting New PLS Survey Reporting Requirements

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way libraries offer programming, with more programs being made available online. With this change also came changes in reporting requirements related to programs.  This year libraries will be required to submit additional information about program attendance for the PLS survey.  Libraries will need a way to fulfill the upcoming PLS survey requirements that include programming type (in-person, online, or both), attendance numbers, and categories.  You may have recently received information about the new requirements from your state. 

Many of our public library partners have expressed concern about how they were going to answer these new questions.  They were looking at changing their processes, or building excel sheets to try and track the information, but weren't exactly sure where to get started. 

As a WhoFi customer, you're in luck.   We've already developed a solution for you and it's already included in your subscription at no additional cost.  It's an easier and more accurate way to track programming numbers, and it works with the new requirements in mind - The Community Calendar. 

What is the Community Calendar?

Community Calendar is a dynamic tool to help public libraries schedule and track programs and see program trends. Libraries can better understand their patrons and programming attendance with the reports intuitive statistics reporting.

An easy-to-use system to schedule programs, view insights, and report - all in one place. This tool makes it easy to schedule, manage, and count attendance at all programs and events. It also helps library directors articulate the community impact they are having through the programs being offered. This information helps libraries when it comes to advocacy efforts.

"WhoFi has been a great addition for us and a huge improvement over the tracking tools we were using before, which was a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and manual tabulations. We had been struggling to figure out how to track virtual programs and offsite programs since previously we relied heavily on our meeting room scheduling software. Hard to do when the program isn’t going to use a room! We are also really excited that it will feed directly into the categories that the state library needs for their annual report. What we report monthly to our Board is always just a little different than what the state asks for so this is very much appreciated. I’ve also found WhoFi to be very responsive to support issues as they are working through how to add this service to their platform."

Monique Shore, Drake Community Library

What does the Community Calendar do for your library?

  • Gives you the tools to provide answers about programs and  attendance, both in-person and online.
  • Defines clear categories for programs to create consistent reporting based on PLA requirements.
  • Accounts for the new state requirements surrounding programming. 
  • Alleviates the need for hand-tallying and storing numbers on paper / spreadsheets.
  • Auto-generates reports for easy end-of-year reporting - no more complicated spreadsheets and calculators needed - we do it for you!

The Community Calendar tool helps public libraries plan programs in advance and also account for past programs so everything is synced together in one seamless reporting system. This tool will help libraries reduce the burden of tracking, organizing, and identifying program effectiveness. It’s also helpful for board and stakeholder meetings because directors can have easy to understand numbers right at their fingertips. 

We at the West Point Public Library have loved the addition of the programming calendar. It's an easier and more accurate way to track our programming numbers. We use it to track all of our programs, and especially appreciate the ability to flag summer programs. Very easy to set up repeating events! The parameteters you can set for each program mirrors exactly what will be included on our state's Annual Survey begining next year. Plus the reports that you are able to generate allows you to quickly view your program numbers and is great to share with your library board of trustees. Plus, your customer service has been outstanding!"

Dara Sanders, Director, West Point Public Library

As a WhoFi customer, if you're not seeing the Community Calendar link show up in your online account, simply contact support, and we'll enable it for you.  If you're not yet a WhoFi customer, and you're interested in learning more, schedule a demo with us today.


How Libraries Can Keep Loaner Devices Safe With The New Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

In an effort to bridge the digital divide, part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 includes $7.17 billion for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program. This program provides funding for public and tribal libraries and K-12 schools to purchase devices like hotspots and laptops for use away from library and school grounds.

The ECF presents an extraordinary and unprecedented funding opportunity for libraries to expand broadband equity to those who need it most beyond the confines of library walls. This is amazing, but does pose some challenges to libraries.  One challenge is that loaner devices paid for by the new Emergency Connectivity Fund require a CIPA filter to be compliant.  Here’s what you need to know about how to make sure your library and devices are in compliance. 

What is a CIPA Filter?

The Children's Internet Protection Act was enacted in the year 2000 to limit exposure to explicit content online.  The most common way that libraries use a CIPA filter is through a filter that is applied on the WiFi at the library building.  When a patron types in a website name and tries to go to a site, a DNS filter checks the webpage and decides if it meet the criteria to be blocked or not blocked.  If it's fine to visit the site, a patron goes to the website.  If it's not allowed, the patron usually sees some kind of warning message about the content being blocked.

CIPA compliance on loaner laptops

One of the more confusing requires of the ECF is the requirement of CIPA compliance even on laptops and devices that are loaned out and will not be used at the library building. This presents a challenge because, as mentioned above, most libraries apply a CIPA filter on the library WiFi itself, which makes all devices connecting to the WiFi compliant.  However, when libraries loan laptops to students for home use, the library needs to find a way to apply a CIPA filter to the device itself, rather than the WiFi it’s connected to. 

CleanBrowsing and OpenDNS Options

Although there are many options to enable CIPA compliance on loaner or roaming devices, in our research, we found two options that we think our customers will find most interesting.  The highest quality option that we found was OpenDNS, now called Cisco Umbrella.  CleanBrowsing is a newcomer in the space that shines as the lowest cost option that still fits the requirements. 

How are CleanBrowsing and OpenDNS the same?

  • CIPA Compliance
  • DNS filtering
  • Installable Software for roaming devices
  • Customizable filters
  • Saving or not saving logs
  • Customizable block pages

How are CleanBrowsing and OpenDNS different?

  • CleanBrowsing:
    • Many install options on several devices
    • Granular control over allowed/blocked sites
    • Custom settings per site
    • Friendly and easy to use interface
    • In business since 2018, startup
  • OpenDNS:
    • Many site categories on filter list
    • Scanning and blocking of installed apps
    • Multiple network and filter customization
    • Filtering per device type or network
    • In business since 2006, backed by Cisco

CleanBrowsing vs OpenDNS Pricing

*Please note prices are subject to change.  For up to date pricing information, please visit each vendor's website link in the Summary section below or get a quote directly from the vendor.

  • CleanBrowsing:
    • Plans start at $59.99/year for up to 25 devices.
  • OpenDNS:
    • Approximately $20 per device per year (based on 100 device plan)

Summary

Both CleanBrowsing and OpenDNS offer CIPA compliance options in their paid packages for loaner laptops.  They have many similarities in how they help you block malicious websites and adult content.  The biggest differences are in stability and pricing.  OpenDNS/Umbrella was founded in 2006 and is the true leader in this space.  With that refinement and experience comes a price tag that matches.  CleanBrowsing was founded in 2018 and is a startup, but comes in at a price of almost 10x less than OpenDNS.  For further research, here are links to OpenDNS, CleanBrowsing, and to the CIPA compliance literature regarding the Emergency Connectivity Fund.

OpenDNS

CleanBrowsing

ALA's ECF Overview 

ALA's ECF Overview CIPA Compliance Link

Additional Note on CIPA compliance on loaner hotspots

The ECF also requires CIPA compliance on all loaner hotspots according to the ALA compliance guide.  Many hotspot providers who work with public libraries offer embedded CIPA compliance and adult filters into the hotspots that they sell to public libraries.  So when a patron is receiving both a hotspot and a laptop from the library, if the hotspot is compliant, then the laptop connecting to it is also compliant.  This is very similar to the compliance achieved when using the WiFi at the library itself.  In this case, additional filtering is likely not needed.  However, if the loaner hotspot is not providing adult filtering, the services linked above can help you keep your loaner hotspots and loaner laptops in compliance as well.


Public Library Insights Q2 of 2021

When analyzing WiFi insights data and looking for usage trends over the past year, we’ve identified clear fluctuations in use that seem to correlate with particular service areas, important timelines in the pandemic, and/or library outreach efforts. As we look at the data for Q2, there are some interesting changes to these numbers, along with a steady increase in WiFi usage across service areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly brought about many changes in the way patrons interact with their libraries and how libraries serve their communities. These changes seem to be contributing to the WiFi usage trends, as many libraries have extended their WiFi services by leaving it on 24/7 and creating stronger signals for patrons who use WiFi in the parking lot.

What does WiFi usage look like compared to Q2 of 2020? Interestingly, the overall trends month by month show similar growth. In 2020, there was a sharp decline in usage in March, then there was a steady increase after that. In 2021, there continues to be a steady increase and at a much higher usage rate which means more patrons are using the WiFi this year.

View Report as PDF

The following graph shows the comparison between 2020 and 2021.

Why are more people using the library’s WiFi now?

In our last report we noted that there was a new higher WiFi usage trend that appeared to start in March 2021 and continued through Q2. This could be related to vaccinations being deployed, reopenings, and warmer weather. Historically, libraries have had higher WiFi usage in warmer weather, and this is true this year. The children’s programming during summer months typically attracts more patrons than usual since school is out. One thing is clear and it's that the community needs the public library's WiFi and is showing up to use it and the services provided in the space.

The chart below shows just how much of an increase year over year there's been.

In previous reports, our data showed that library WiFi use in both urban and rural service areas decreased, but urban areas had a much greater drop. And throughout the pandemic libraries in rural areas had a much faster return to pre-pandemic WiFi usage rates compared to libraries in urban areas.

The urban populations have seen a much higher percentage increase in WiFi use for Q2 than rural areas. This could be attributed to the fact that rural areas had already regained their usage rates and urban areas are now catching up as the need increases, and seasonality, as mentioned above.

The chart below shows the change in WiFi usage during Q2 based on population size.

Weekly and monthly usage

Looking at WiFi usage trends on a weekly and monthly basis provides insight into exact times when patron behavior changed and if it correlates with any particular event. You'll see a steady increase every week this quarter in usage. There was a dip during the Memorial Day holiday, as expected. Month over month you'll see a large spike in March with a small dip in April, then continued increased usage every month through the quarter.

The graphs below show the national week by week and monthly Q2 WiFi usage.

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

The data is clear: WiFi is a valuable resource the libraries offer to help their communities. As libraries begin to prepare for the year ahead and planning for the future, tracking WiFi usage could prove beneficial for library advocacy efforts, operational improvements, strategic planning, and accurate reporting for the PLS survey. Having such information can give libraries the tools they need to secure funding to provide more and better services, and even help guide decisions on how to best use their space.

Carrying insights into the future.

This data solidifies the importance of public libraries within the communities they serve. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, lack of internet access was a big problem – now it’s critical. Throughout the pandemic, public libraries have continued to help patrons stay connected to school, work, and family. In addition, they continue to help provide social service assistance for their community members through filing for unemployment, Census registration, and job searches.

The knowledge we’ve gained from WiFi insights will continue to influence how libraries interact with the communities they serve. 

Questions about how to get insights for your library?  Schedule a demo with our team.


WhoFi Moves To New Office Space

We moved! Our team recently completed the set up of our new office and we are so excited to be in our new space! The new modern space fits our growing team and our vision of work.

Like many other companies and many of our community partners, we're taking a hybrid approach to our new office.  Everyone is continuing to work from home as an option for the convenience and flexibility that it provides.  But we also have our office as a place to get away from the house, that has resources that don't make sense to have at home, and as a place to meet up for face to face conversations or group meetings.

This hybrid approach of digital and in-person is how we see the future of work, and the future of communities, and we're excited to get started!

 

 

Here's our new address:

WhoFi

15820 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Ste 2

Edmond, OK 73013

Our other contact information is staying the same, so please reach out if you need help with anything or just want to say hello.

support@whofi.com

You can also leave a detailed voice message at:

405-415-0434

We're excited to be in the new space and the new opportunities it provides!


Zoom for Public Libraries

Online meetings are becoming the norm for many of us for a variety of reasons. Some libraries are migrating their in-person programming to online formats using tools like Zoom or Facebook Live. Since some libraries are still are operating in a limited capacity, their physical meeting spaces may be off-limits, but online meeting spaces are still available and being created using tools like Zoom. 

So what exactly is Zoom and how can public libraries use Zoom to meet community needs?

What is Zoom? Zoom is a cloud-based video, audio, and chat communications service that keeps people connected while staying physically distanced. You can attend meetings, classes, and other programs while safely staying at home. It’s free to use, and not hard to set up.

The importance of libraries providing community meeting space has increased over the years. The remote workforce is a growing trend, and workers are looking for spaces to work outside of the home. Library meeting spaces are being used as co-working spaces, school tutoring sessions, group study, community organization meetings, and more. With many libraries closed or operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19, libraries can combine the need for space by shifting the physical meeting rooms to online spaces. 

Zoom video communications is a highly popular service that has become a necessity during the pandemic as people look for ways to connect to coworkers, family, teachers, friends, anyone they’re unable to meet with in person. Zoom provides virtual programming and chats to enable this continued connection.

How can public libraries use Zoom? 

Librarians can offer the library Zoom room reservations in the same way that physical meeting room reservations work. Librarians can also use Zoom for online programming. Record meetings and invite patrons to attend live. They can upload it to their website for later viewing or make the recording link available on Facebook. Zoom can be used for the same type of programming as Facebook live, such as storytime, yoga, book club, or guest speakers.

The main difference is using this platform as an online alternative to reserving a physical room. This offers patrons the same services but just within an online platform. Librarians can use a similar system to their in-person meeting room reservation for Zoom rooms. Be sure to promote this new service in any place you typically communicate about these things such as, Facebook, email, handouts with curbside pickups, or signage in the windows. 

Resources and tips

This article is a great resource for Zoom logistics and management within your library. 

This article is a great resource for Zoom meeting security tips. 

This is a great resource guide for setting up meetings based on type.