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Currently the majority of libraries around the world have closed their physical buildings to the public. Because we know how important libraries are for their members, we want to help librarians discover new ways to adapt to this COVID-19 situation and help them continue to serve their communities, protecting both staff and library members during and after this situation is over.
This is the second part of last week’s blog post, if you haven´t read it yet, you can check it out here.
Social Media Platforms
Social media offers many benefits for companies, mainly because having an online presence is definitely a crucial component of any marketing strategy and a great way to communicate and keep in contact with the community, especially during this time where physical facilities are not recommended to be open to the public.
For any library that hasn’t had the time to put a considerable effort into social media platforms, maybe this is the right time to do it. Grow the library’s audience and build strong relationships with them.
Libraries around the world are doing an incredible job adapting during COVID-19 and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are helping them to innovate their services, and most importantly, demonstrating that libraries are not just about books.
Updating the platforms everyday with useful and valuable information is very important. One might wonder—what is the best way to interact with the community, throughout these special times we are living in?
Well, here are some suggestions:
- Instagram, Facebook and YouTube offer the opportunity to do real-time video broadcasting, which can effectively boost interactions with followers. During the live video, viewers can leave comments and questions that can be answered straight away. Many libraries are using this feature to do Q&A about several topics or even holding story-time sessions for families with younger children.
- For those who don’t feel comfortable being in front of a camera doing a live video, just record it instead and post it on social media. Many libraries have made their podcast available on YouTube and their followers can listen to it whenever suits them best.
- Another option is to create a new program, like BookBound 2020 – a literacy festival that brings authors and book-lovers together. They offer the opportunity for people to view their events such as readings, story-times and live author-to-author conversations for free on their YouTube channel.
Many libraries are offering digital resources to their members and RBdigital is an example of a service which can enrich any library’s digital offerings. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Recorded Books was founded in 1979 and has been working together with libraries and schools, by providing them digital content, through the RBdigital platform, and physical productions, which include CDs and MP3-CDs.
RBdigital offers eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and comics, newspapers from over 100 countries and in 60 languages, and users can translate the original into more than 16 languages. They also offer entertainment, including educational materials as well as health and wellness content.
Google arts and culture
Google arts and culture works with several institutions and artists around the world with the goal of making different types of art and culture available for everyone, anywhere. Right now, they are supporting over 1400 cultural institutions across 70 difference countries.
Just download the app, it is available on Google Play and App Store, or visit their website to gain access to museum collections, art galleries and other cultural institutions.
Google Cultural Institute builds free tools and technologies for cultural institutions to showcase their treasures. Individual libraries can develop a partnership with them and publish their in-house collections online for free, or even create a virtual tour through the institution. In this way, people from the community and around the world can appreciate art housed anywhere across the globe or in their own town. This is a great option to help combat the isolation many are experiencing during this time of quarantine and social distancing.
Libraries overcoming COVID-19
Librarians will always give their best to the communities they serve and in hard times they will provide support for their members no matter what. This COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge which libraries are equipped to overcome by implementing new ideas and offering more digital content.
Libraries are proving they are more than just books, they are a place for new opportunities, to experience new ideas and a place to build relationships.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
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