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 neighborhoods and public agencies. Nextdoor says it’s “The neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services.” Neighbors use Nextdoor for a variety of things like finding a babysitter, getting recommendations for home repairs, posting about items for sale, and just generally sharing information. It’s an online forum for specific neighborhoods and areas of town to communicate with each other and share helpful information. 

Public agencies use Nextdoor to share information relevant to the community such as trash pick-up updates, crime updates, changes to public utilities, or organize community events. It’s a useful tool for agencies to share information that affects the people who live in the community. For libraries, Nextdoor offers a close connection to the patrons in the library’ service area. 

Nextdoor is different from other social media because it’s an online community of real neighbors. Each neighborhood on Nextdoor is secure, and you have to prove your residence to get access. It’s hyper localized so public agencies can target messages to members in specific neighborhoods, zones, or districts. Library branches can join as a public agency and contribute to the areas they serve. It’s especially useful because neighbors and public agencies, like libraries, can use it collaboratively to organize events and share information. 

What kind of things can public libraries share on Nextdoor?

Public libraries can create posts, polls, respond to neighbors, and interact with other local agencies. Nextdoor is a great platform to share your library’s events. You can post about online storytimes, virtual events, and community outreach programs to your hyperlocal community. The same type of information you’d share on Facebook as far as events and outreach would work on Nextdoor too. In fact, you can use Nextdoor to promote your Facebook Live events. Patrons who rely on the library as their primary source of the internet can still access Nextdoor through the library WiFi (or any WiFi). 

What are the advantages of using Nextdoor for the public libraries?

It allows public libraries to engage with local communities within a space specifically designed for the local community. Advertising events and outreach programs can attract more attendees, which connects more people to the library and helps more people. Neighbors can see interactions and information the public library shares, which can attract new patrons to the library. It’s also a great way to make new community connections. 

Curious to know more about how you can monitor online program attendance? Book a demo with our team today!