Engage Your Community During Covid-19

Hello Library Friends! Are you struggling to keep your community engaged while being closed, offering curbside service, or reopening with restrictions? Library Unicorn is here to help! Here are some EASY ways to stay connected to your community during these unprecedented times.

Create an Eye Spy Challenge. Place objects like leftover crafting supplies or reading prizes on a plain background. I like to use a theme or objects that are all the same color. Type up a list of search objects. Snap a quick photo. Print out both the search list and the picture. Then post both on your door or window. You can get double duty by posting this on your website and social media.

Create a Story Stroll. Are you focusing on the great outdoors this summer? Do you have some gently used and ready to be retired picture books? A Story Stroll is for you! Take apart a picture book. You will need two copies. Mount the pages on inexpensive corrugated plastic blank signs. Cover with clear contact paper to protect the pages from the weather. Place your signs along a path, in a park, on your lawn, around your parking lot, etc. Voila! Social distancing outreach! Make sure to add an acknowledgment statement on your first sign. Here's an example: "This Story Stroll was brought to you by your Friendly Neighborhood Library and generously funded by the Friends of the Friendly Neighborhood Library".

Build Your Social Media Followers. Creating on-demand programming videos and interactive online programs for patron engagement takes a substantial time investment. An easy way to engage with your community is an online contest with an inexpensive prize. A fun game is "Guess How Many". Fill a jar with candy. Snap a quick photo, then post it to your website or social media. The closest guess wins the candy. If digital access is an issue in your area, place the jar in your window and have your patrons submit estimates another way. This contest can be done with any number of items.

Use 'Old School' Media. Are you lucky enough to have a media outlet like a community newspaper, radio station, or public access television channel in your area? These platforms may be looking for content. Consider ways to do your community outreach here. Articles, open access tv, and radio shows are great ways to reach your community that may not want to leave home and don't have digital access.

Partner With Your Neighboring Libraries. All libraries are experiencing unprecedented challenges; your fellow librarians know what you are going through. They are your community too. We may not be able to meet up in real life for library conferences; we CAN share the good things we are doing.

Wrap-Up. Easy ways to engage your community during Covid-19 includes eye spy challenges, Story Strolls, building your social media followers, using old school media, and partnering with your neighboring libraries.

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