Get your patrons' attention with a month-long DOGust celebration at your library! I am kicking off DOGust next Friday, July 31st with National Mutt Day. August 1st is the Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs.
There are many low-cost and low-effort ways to celebrate DOGust. As an added bonus, all of my suggestions can also be counted as passive programming.
Share photos of staff pets on social media. If your library is currently closed due to COVID-19 or offering curbside delivery only, your patrons miss you! Most people want a sneak peek into the lives of celebrities. Sharing a glimpse into the lives of local celebrities (AKA, the library staff) through their pets is one way to keep patron engaged.
P.S. I couldn't help but share a photo of my own very good dog, Lola.
Add a 'match the pet to the library staff' contest. Patrons love contests. You can run your contest entirely virtually through social media. Another idea is to make a printed copy that patrons can take home and return through the drop box. Either offer a small prize or bragging rights, depending on your budget. I bet there will be some surprising staff pets! No one would have guessed that my pets included two pet rats and Sunny and Cher the hermit crabs.
Does your library have a pet or pets? If you are closed or offering curbside service only, patrons miss the library pets. Give your library pet it's own YouTube channel. You can make short films of exciting parts of their day. Share what your library pets are up to during quarantine with a 'day in the life' photo series.
Create funny pet memes of your own! Engaging social media and websites aren't just filled with facts and information... They include dynamic and creative content! Once you've introduced your staff pets to the community, get creative. Make up funny captions and saying to go with your pets' photos to create your own memes. Pro Tip: Using Instagram and Facebook Stories text can quickly.
Invite patrons to show off their pets! Have patrons send photos to the library through email to add to your library's social media. Make it a Take Over Tuesday or Caturday social media campaign. It's easy to schedule posts ahead of time on Facebook. Another way to accomplish this is to print pet photos that are sent into your library and make a Pets of Our Town window display.
Our now normal world of social-distancing and closures due to COVID-19 doesn't mean that that library staff can't get their community's attention and stay in touch. Passive programming and virtual outreach through social media are tools that many libraries already use. DOGust is a fun and engaging celebration likely to appeal to your patrons.
Did you find the strategies listed in this post helpful? If so, share it with your friends and colleagues.