LIBRARIES ARE LIKE PANDAS!

“Libraries are like pandas. We’re all in favour of them and get a warm, fuzzy feeling about them. But saying how much we adore them doesn’t protect bamboo-munchers or libraries from extinction”

Robbie Millen

Public libraries of all sizes have been significantly impacted due to the pandemic, as have the communities they serve. Centuries on we are still here but more than ever, public libraries need to evolve and respond to community recovery and work together to uphold their collective social purpose and vision in promoting democracy, economy, and thriving communities.

But like many I believe that public libraries are our nation’s untapped goldmines! I loved this quote ” Libraries will move into the future with a chameleon-like response to the changing needs of their communities” by Michal Lambert Director of San Fransico Libraries. Lambert also said, “Librarians are really like community organizers. We’re activists. We’re also very innovative. We’re not just passively waiting for reference questions. We’ve been entrepreneurial and really focused on how we can meet the most pressing needs of our community.”

Not pandas but gamechangers!

Yes budgets will get tighter but the public library is still widely and globally recognised as a public institution, a catalyst for change, facilitating social, economic and cultural development and supporting communities to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by a modern society. At its best the public library is a hybrid space – digital, physical and social – a place that people trust, they know we understand privacy and equality. In many places it’s also a smart centre, putting the digital economy within everyone’s reach. A one-stop destination to test drive the latest technology, equalising access and skills around the new technologies from coding and circuit making to artificial intelligence and virtual reality. At its best it’s part of a national network of learning and literacies – an experiential, entrepreneurial, and experimental space.

All this is great and we in the industry know it but we need to get so much better at telling the rest of the world! Why all the conferences for library staff when we need to preach so much to the unconverted – the economic regenerators, city planners, politicians, the purseholders the visionaries!

.. so let’s find a big loud voice and up our publicity and marketing!

Libraries are like pandas! saying how much we adore them doesn’t protect bamboo-munchers or libraries from extinction! Find a big loud voice

At SOLUS we know that to spend real human time on events, learning and programming with communities we need to free staff up from the transactional! That what we are so good at!

We love the way our partners at Sunshine Coast Libraries have put the library in their customers’ pockets 24/7 anytime anywhere -making it simple and fun for patrons to use! Watch this!

Libraries are like pandas! saying how much we adore them doesn’t protect bamboo-munchers or libraries from extinction! Find a big loud voice

The rapid pace of technology is not only changing the future of libraries and the way we live and work but possibly changing us all as humans. As mobile devices are always to hand they are not only reshaping the customer experience, they are disrupting the entire process of knowledge exchange and more especially disrupting the business of the public library.

The pandemic has made it more important than ever that we promote and market ourselves! Libraries are like pandas and those who haven’t historically used libraries also need us now, as much as or more than ever. So it’s vital that we continue to promote our many offerings and make it fun!

Libraries are like pandas! saying how much we adore them doesn’t protect bamboo-munchers or libraries from extinction! Make it fun!

Spreading awareness about the services that public libraries have to offer is a challenge that many public libraries face and is compounded by traditional lack of marketing staff and resources. It is as we all know, important to make connections with the local community that use the library services regularly as they are likely to spread awareness for the library through word of mouth. However, marketing to customers and new visitors through channels they frequently use is just as important.

Put your library in your communities’ pockets!

Thousands of libraries across the world are using the SOLUS library app! We want to we want to hear and share all of the exciting ways you are extending the library’s reach and promoting your app!

App in a pocket
Libraries are like pandas! saying how much we adore them doesn’t protect bamboo-munchers or libraries from extinction! Put the library in their pockets!

Check out below how Moreton Bay are getting their message out with the app on video, billboards and as part of the Council’s autosignature!

Libraries are like pandas so how are you getting the message out? Check out some of the amazing videos we show on the blog and then let us know how you are spreading the word and growing the library audience!

We’d love to share your story! [email protected] or contact us

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