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…


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…


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?…


Nextdoor for Public Libraries

When COVID-19 closed public libraries, librarians quickly adapted their services and outreach efforts for the online space. In this post, we continue the Libraries Online series.  If your public library is looking for more ways to connect to your community, consider creating a Nextdoor account for your library. It’s a great platform to communicate to the hyperlocal community about resources and events your library offers.  What is Nextdoor? Nextdoor is a private, free social network to connect…


How To Use Instagram To Share Your Library’s Story

Social media is playing a significant role in helping libraries stay relevant in our ever-growing digital society. Just as they are leading the charge in digital equity. As part of our Libraries Online series, we’re sharing ways that libraries can use social media to connect to their community and promote library services. This blog will focus on the Instagram platform and how to use its visual layout to share your library's story. Using Instagram for your library is a great way to share…


Public Library Insights One Year Into The COVID-19 Pandemic

The past year has brought many changes and challenges. And it’s also created an environment for growth. Faced with uncertainty, libraries rose to the challenge and adapted their services to meet the changing needs of their communities. In many ways, libraries are able to meet patrons' needs now even better than before. The flexibility of these new offerings made it easier to reach additional community members, and our library partners think these changes are here to stay. It’s helped libraries…


Getting Social While Social Distancing

Librarians are people who want to connect with their community. Through library services, outreach, programs, and much more, libraries and librarians are beacons to all communities. So when library doors closed due to COVID-19, this was tough on the community and the librarians who thrive on serving and connecting.  In times of crisis and economic recession, people need the library more than ever. They need someone to help connect them with free resources, social services, a safe place to use…


Q4 Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

WhoFi analyzed data from our library partners to determine the effect of COVID-19 on patron WiFi usage. This report includes our findings during Q4 2020. We’re now ten months into the COVID pandemic, and public libraries continue to adapt to this new normal by reinventing their services to meet the current needs of their communities. These new innovations are taking place across the country. Libraries are bolstering their online collections and expanding access, enhancing access to public WiFi,…


Libraries Staying Connected To Patrons With Online and Outdoor Events

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, libraries continue to adapt and find creative ways to stay connected to their communities. From drive-in WiFi, grab and go book pickup, and modified services and programs, libraries are going above and beyond to meet the needs of patrons while staying connected online and outdoors.  If your library has outdoor space or a local park area available (and recommended safety guidelines are followed) outdoor programming paired with an online component would be a…


Curbside Books And Free WiFi

Libraries across the country continue to adapt services to meet patron needs. When the coronavirus took hold in March and public library buildings closed to the public, services continued in a new, modified format. Two of the most popular library services born out of this public health crisis are curbside pick-up programs and outside of the building WiFi use.  Curbside programs offer patrons a way to access resources and materials. Libraries offering curbside pick-ups keeps books and other…