community engagement

How to Discover What Your Community Really Wants

Community members participating in a discussion

Editor's Note: It is vital that public libraries understand the needs and interests of their communities and patrons to stay relevant in the 21st century. That's easy to say, but hard to do. Online and paper surveys are a common tool for this, but they have limitations. The main limitation of the survey approach is that it generally avoids direct interaction between a library and its community members or member-to-member interactions.

WebJunction has addressed this by compiling an astonishingly rich resource describing other useful techniques for finding out what your local community wants called a Basket of Discovery Tools. We like it so much that we reprint it here with permission from WebJunction to ensure that this great resource gets the widest possible attention.

Outside the Lines: Shifting Perceptions of Libraries

Outside the Lines is a weeklong international celebration of the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Whether large or small, academic or public, any library can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign. The goal is to get people thinking — and talking — about libraries in a different way. Libraries are dynamic centers for engagement that help everyone in the community be their best. It's not enough just to tell people how libraries have changed; it's time to show them.

During our June webinar, we heard from Erica Grossman of Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado. We also heard from Megan Glidden and Lune Axelsen of ImagineIF Libraries in Flathead County, Montana. The webinar provided examples of grassroots library marketing, including ways to use social media.

How to Recruit and Engage Tech Volunteers at Your Library

Could your library use some assistance in staffing? Whether you work at a large city library or a small one- or two-staff-member rural library, volunteers can make a huge difference! But how do you recruit, manage, and engage volunteers? How do you make sure your volunteers keep coming back?

My kids got me a Kindle