Greenwich Library: Involving the Community
When it comes to library engagement within your community, Greenwich Library in Connecticut has it mastered with a couple key initiatives and is only building on their successes. Read on to learn what’s working in their community and could work for yours too!
Creating A Community-wide Reading Initiative
Since 2011, the Greenwich Library has conducted Greenwich Reads Together, a community-wide reading experience in which residents explore a single book together. In 2016, nearly 20 community organizations and more than 7,500 Greenwich residents participated in events based on Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven, including readings, expert panels, book discussions, storytelling and film screenings. To ensure that elementary and middle school aged children could participate in the program, two companion books for younger readers were also selected. Since its launch, the program has seen more than a 375% increase, and the circulation of the selected and related titles have also increased significantly.
Fun for Everyone: Mini Golf at the Library!
At the Greenwich Library, another initiative which engages all members of the community is, well, par for the course. This year saw the library’s first ever Library Mini Golf event, during which the library was transformed into a miniature golf course, with greens winding through the stacks. Each of the 18 holes were sponsored by area businesses, schools and organizations, and the fundraiser featured both an “After Hours” event for adults, as well as a “Family Fun Day” during which golfers of all ages could enjoy the course.
“Library Mini Golf attracted both regular library patrons and residents who may not have visited us in a long time, reinforcing that the library is truly the hub of the community,” shares Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, Director of the library. “The layout, spaced across three floors, also introduced patrons to areas of the library they may never have visited and provided an opportunity to showcase services that they may have been previously unaware existed, including how to reserve the rooms via D!BS and Spaces, how to find and register for events in SignUp and how to participate in upcoming reading programs through Wandoo Reader.”
Greenwich Library’s Tips for Well-orchestrated Events
- Allow ample planning time before launching a community initiative to engage partners
- Develop a timeline
- Secure funding
- Cultivate strong partnerships within the community
About Greenwich Library
The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. With 1,800 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads of the community. Greenwich Library has a total circulation of about 1.2 million, the highest reported in Connecticut. Greenwich Library was recently named a five-star library by Library Journal for the seventh time.