Lexington Public Library: Achieving Optimal Engagement
The Lexington Public Library is excited about two community engagement initiatives that “take the library out into the community instead of expecting people to come to us,” shares Virtual Librarian Bobby Webb. The first initiative, launched in 2016, is a “Student Success” partnership with the local public school system. As part of this project, each of the nearly 40,000 students in grades K–12 in Fayette County Public Schools receives a Lexington Public Library card that can be used to borrow materials and access online resources.
The second initiative is the launch of the library’s “Checked Out” podcast, a “virtual book club” produced and hosted by library staff.
Tips for Reaching Busy People
“Everyone is extremely busy in today’s world,” Webb shares. “These programs reach out to customers and meet them in their own spaces, allowing the library to be part of their lives without requiring a large investment of time and effort.”
Similar efforts are made to promote the library’s Boopsie® mobile app, a product from Demco Software that makes library resources accessible on smartphones, and event registration. Webb describes the pop-up messages in the Boopsie app as “instrumental in spreading awareness.” These messages appear when someone loads the library website on a small screen, and event registration via SignUp, an event management tool from Demco Software is ubiquitous throughout the library’s website and app.
As a result of these two programs, “thousands of young people who may not have gotten a library card otherwise are receiving one,” explains Webb, and “people who may not have the time or ability to attend a book club in one of our physical locations are able to participate remotely.”