As many of you have probably experienced firsthand, the Neuse Regional Libraries (NRL) strive to serve our communities in a meaningful and relevant manner each day. With the onset of COVID-19, we had to take a step back and reimagine how to best meet those needs in a safe, but proactive manner. The Library staff along with key partners developed several out of the box initiatives to target efforts to stop standing still and start looking forward to a vibrant and purposeful future.
One of these exciting initiatives, Try It @ Your Library pop-up programs were recently selected by the North Carolina Library Association to showcase during the Fabulous Friday Conference held on October 2, 2020. Sarah Sever, the Assistant Director; Christine Grant, Youth Services Librarian; and Sean Moore, IT Specialist highlighted the Try It @ Your Library pop-up program and discussed the Library’s role in stepping up to meet the community’s needs in an innovative fashion.
The Try It @ Your Library pop-up program is defined as an event sponsored or co-sponsored by the Library, having a presentation component and lasting 10-15 minutes. A program can be a single event or a series of events, take place inside or outside of a library, or take place online. It was the library’s goal to meet people where they were and let them know that library services were still available. Try It @ Your Library programs vary in subject and are offered at all eight Neuse Regional Libraries. Some favorite pop-up programs have included making balloon swords, virtual reality demonstrations, yoga, and various adult crafts with self-care and environmental themes. More importantly, the fabulous presentation team shared testimonials from our community highlighting their support of the Neuse Regional Libraries’ initiatives to continue to grow and prosper even during this past year.
“I have attended several Try It programs at the library and every one of them was interesting and informative.” — Darryl Jones, Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library patron
“You all have done such great things to the La Grange Public Library. I love the new updates you have made to the inside of the building and the garden with the arch outside, I just love it! I applaud that you continue to offer programming on a smaller scale due to Covid-19 as well offering activities like the craft bags. My granddaughter enjoys grabbing and taking the craft bags home to complete. We also enjoy watching your virtual programming on Facebook.” — Rose Thompson, La Grange Public Library patron
“Thank you all so much for staying open during these trying times to serve the community.”– Houston Smith, Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library patron
Try It @ Your Library will become a permanent part of library programming as it is increasingly necessary to meet library users on their own terms and provide fluid access to resources. In addition, Justin Stout, the Head of Reference will be presenting the Jones County Public Libraries’ Wi-Fi For All project at the virtual NCLA Bridging the Digital Divide: Library Communities Respond Conference on Friday, October 23, 2020. The conference will highlight ways that libraries are working to bridge the digital divide for their library users to ensure equitable access to online content.
The NRL have created an innovative solution to help bridge the “homework gap” barrier and provide greater universal access to the internet for all residents through their LSTA Wi-Fi for All and Literacy Without Barriers programs, and have developed a strong partnership with Lenoir Community College to further promote workforce development throughout the region. The Neuse Regional Libraries are excited to pave the way for future successes state-wide, and look forward to an innovative future.
To learn more about Try it @ Your Library, Wi-Fi for ALL, or other exciting programs offered at your local library, please contact the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library at 252-527-7066 ext. 130. # TryIt@YourLibrary #WhereLibrariesComeTogether #NRL2020