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Virtual Reference Services
What Your Library Can Do Remotely
Bridge the Digital Divide
Check out this news story about the Bryant Library.
Communicate that the Library is an Essential Service
- Explore other libraries' websites for creative ideas for your website, communications, and virtual programs/services.
- Determine how the library can promote remote services best to your community.
- Reach out to your local news to have your library featured.
Connect with your Colleagues
Connect with your Community on Social Media
Ensure Access to Library Resources
- Consider waiving fines so patrons can access e-resources regardless of account status.
- Provide library card sign-ups for access to remote resources.
- Provide references services via email, phone, and chat.
Expand Access to e-books, Databases, and e-resources.
Offer Virtual or Hybrid Programs
- Research grant opportunities to support community recovery.
- Draft a disaster preparedness plan.
- Get your Summer Library Programs organized (collection development, scheduling, plan crafts, publicity).
Preserve Your Local History
- Create a community archive of journal entries, photos, and stories.
- Collect personal stories, video, photographs to preserve campus community experiences.
- Preserve a special collection such as pictures of home-cooked meals, empty grocery store shelves, take-out menus.
Serve as a Recovery Center for the Community
Learn more about the Library Recovery Funding Proposal from ALA.
Provide information for patrons about COVID-19, financial assistance, and mental health.
Identify opportunities for community engagement by reviewing websites and social media from your school system, town/city agencies, and local community-based organizations
Stay Up-to-Date Professionally
Support Legislative Advocacy
- Reach out to your local legislators to ask what the library can do to help.
- Promote that the library is providing essential services.
- Check the MLA Engage for advocacy messages to send to your legislators.
For more ideas, check out these resources:
Resources provided are for informational purposes only, not specifically endorsed by MLS, and not meant to substitute for advice from a medical or public health professional.