There are lots of folks out there offering some amazing virtual experiences for kids and families over the next few weeks and months.  I’ve created a Google Document with these ideas for kids and families that I will regularly update (please send suggestions my way!) that lists some of these suggestions.

I am also collecting ideas about virtual experiences for grown-ups, too, who have some extra time now that they aren’t going out and about so much.  That one is not quite so full, so please share suggestions!

But maybe you want to do some programming on your own to share with people in your community.  You miss them and they miss you, and seeing your friendly face will provide some much-needed connection and normalcy during this weird time.  Even if you can’t do a slick video like the other agencies providing online experiences, it is worth creating some things anyway!  Here are some ideas and resources to use:

  • The Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association has collated some amazing resources to help you think about doing online storytimes or other programs, including some things to consider about copyright and fair use.  (In general, YSS is taking the lead on providing excellent resources for youth services librarians trying to figure out how best to support families right now).
  • For adults, the Programming Librarian has a whole series about programming during COVID-19
  • I had a few additional ideas to consider:
    • Art, craft, movement, or science tutorials (yes, there are prettier versions, but they might want to see you!)
    • Booktalk some of the awesome books available on Overdrive/Libby or Freading.  Concentrate on the growing list of titles that are always available!  Of course, all titles in Freading are available all the time.  Here’s how to find the always available titles on Overdrive:  under Collections there’s a choice for Available Now. The top two options are Always Available Audiobooks and No-Wait Ebooks.  Be sure to promote the use of the ecard for people who don’t already have a MORE library card
    • Do a promotion/demonstration of all the other cool online databases–including Transparent Languages.  What a great time to learn a language!

Using Facebook Live to do these videos is a reasonable and easy solution.  If you’d rather not do that, you can look at this list of companies that are providing free access during the pandemic.