5 Ways To Stay Connected To Your Community Even With Closed Doors

Human connection is something we inherently know we need, in some capacity, because of the very nature of our being. We are social creatures and rely on one another – our community – for survival. We need to stay connected to communities. Now that we aren’t gathering in public places, nurturing the community beyond the building is crucial. 

Here are 5 ways public libraries can stay connected to their communities while doors are closed to the public.

1. Curb-side pick-up

Many libraries started an online checkout and pick-up program so patrons can continue to borrow books, movies, games, and, in some locations, technology equipment. This service lets patrons still enjoy borrowing while staying safe with a contactless pick-up. This practice also works well for patrons that need library services for unemployment forms, voting resources, or job-seeking guides.

2. Online Storytime and Programs

Children’s storytime is a beloved activity for many families. It’s enriching for the kids and is a safe activity for families. Being able to socialize with other kids is great, but when libraries close, online storytime is the next best thing. Kids can enjoy seeing their favorite library teachers read books which can help kids feel a sense of normalcy during uncertain times. Some programs for older kids can be moved to an online format, too. 

TIP: Promote the page on your website and make signs for the library windows. Post online programs to your library’s Facebook page so they can be easily accessible. 

3. Drive-in WiFi

Many people depend on the library WiFi as their main source of internet, especially in rural areas. So when doors close that is a big concern for the patrons who need access to the internet. To get around this problem while maintaining social distancing, libraries implemented a ‘drive-in WiFi’ practice. Patrons can sit in their own cars or outside the library while accessing the internet. Some libraries moved access points closer to the windows to extend the signal and began promoting this to the community so more people could use it. 

TIP: promote this service on your website, Facebook page, and make signs for the windows with WiFi access information.

4. Online/curbside project pick-up

Since in-person library programs aren’t an option right now, these crafts and projects can be packaged up and available for curbside pick-up for families who want them. Or, create a downloadable version that can be printed and used at home.

5. Outdoor programs

As we learn more about the coronavirus and what activities are safe, it seems that outdoor, socially distanced activities are considered low risk. Libraries could offer outdoor storytimes or other programs using a reservation system to limit capacity and implement proper protective measures such as masks and social distancing. 

Would you like to know more about how WiFi analytics can benefit your library or community space? Are you seeking ways to stay connected to your communities? Book a demo and read what our partners are saying about us.