Thursday, August 20, 2015

Making Community Connections

WoW! librarians are out in the field canvassing. During our canvassing, we are always looking for potential opportunities to partner with businesses.  Librarian, Shannon Morrison, came across a flier at a market and she saw a potential partnership opportunity!
She took the flier and gave them a call to see if they would take up the opportunity to partner with the Fresno County Library. They did! Chou, Chong, and Shannon met out in the field to see how a partnership can blossom.
The non-profit mission is promoting healthy youth development through a positive and meaningful engagement that will contribute to a more vibrant community. The non-profit foundation has just been created. Chou and Chong were amazed at being able to link to our free resources. They are now aware of the Grant and Non-Profit Center that will help them research funding opportunities and apply for grants that will aid them in their mission to promote healthy youth development! They learned about that will give them skills in developing their upcoming web page (be on the lookout for it!). Shannon also showed them Reference USA if they need to build a client list along with the Small Business Reference Center. They can now access NoLo ebooks without even stepping into the library.

The partnership isn't stopping here. Shannon has been invited out to their soccer clinic workshop to set up an outreach table to invite people to get library cards, show them the Fresno County Public Library Mobile App, and teach parents who might need to improve their language skills with our Mango Languages database. Parents will not be bored while waiting for their kids' soccer clinic to finish, as the library has just the thing for them to do! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pop-Up Senior Library Pilot

Once a month, a couple of WoW! librarians load up 200 items into a WoW! car and hit the road.  We’re taking our services inside several senior residences in the county – bringing library services to people who cannot always make it to a local branch on their own. 
It all started with this question: how can we better serve the seniors in our community?  The FCPLCommunity Bookmobile had been visiting a number of senior residences.  It seemed like such a simple idea of taking the services of the Bookmobile inside these locations.   We have six select locations that we are visiting during our pilot program.
The response has been fantastic.  We’ve made dozens of library cards for new users.  In some locations, we’re getting to more users because they no longer require a staff member to assist them outside to the Bookmobile – we come to them in their activities room!  We are building some great relationships with our new friends, some of whom are voracious readers. 
Our collection for this pilot program includes:  fiction, non-fiction, large print selections, audio books and DVDs.  Also included are New & Now selections (newly published and popular books). 

Each time we visit these locations, we spend time doing some one-on-one readers' advisory with the residents to find out what items they’d like to see us bring the following visit.  Many residents also make specific book requests each month, too.  These requests are delivered to WoW! and added to our collection of materials that we’ll take out that month. 

Some of our new friends face barriers to reading – physically holding a book or a visual impairment.  Each time we make a visit, we are coming across seniors who we can sign up for the Talking Book Library. Because we’re bringing our services inside to them, we’re able to talk to new people every time we visit, and figure out if there are ways for FCPL to provide some services to them.

So far, the Pop-Up Senior Libraries have been a great success, both for the library and for the seniors we're serving.  Response from the seniors and the staffs at the residences has been overwhelmingly positive.

Monday, August 10, 2015

WoW! on the Streets!

Jeremy Boriack, Literacy Specialist, works at the Library booth, next to one of the WoW!mobiles
at the “Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life” street fair on August 8.
The Fresno County Public Library’s WithOut Walls Library team shows up at many community events, raising library awareness. Saturday, August 8, WoW! partnered with  FCPL Literacy Services for a table at a “Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life” event on E. Hamilton Avenue, between General Vang School and Sequoia Middle School in southeast Fresno.

Terrance works at making a new library card while his solar hat keeps him cool.
The block party was a collaboration between several local churches, ministries, and the Fresno Police Department. It featured a bounce house, a dunk tank, a bungee run, musical entertainment by the First Men of Promise, nail-painting, and treasure-hunting. There were nachos, burgers, Frisbees, bread giveaways, and a visit from the Police Chief of Fresno, Jerry Dyer.

Somebody just got dunked!
WoW’s Terrance Mc Arthur and Literacy’s Jeremy Boriack made library cards, talked to more than 100 people, gave out library bags and information, and met with faith-based and community-based organizations.

Fresno’s efforts to build trust between the police, churches, and the community have been recognized nationally, including an article by The Washington Post. The FCPL WoW! team and Literacy are happy to be a part of the program.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

National Night Out was a WoW!

National Night Out, August 4, 2015!

What an event! Hundreds of people, entertainment, free food, crafts, information, and general happiness. Two WoW! teams of librarians were part of the fun.

Michelle and Jonathan talked to people at Quigley Park, near Dakota and Fruit Avenues.  A blood drive, bands, car show, and a talk by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer were featured. The Fresno County Public Library table had flyers and library card applications, and Michelle and Jonathan pointed people across the street to the Gillis Library, less than a block away.
On National Night Out, Quigley Park was a happening place.

Shannon and Terrance made seven library cards at El Dorado Park and Wesley Methodist Church on Barstow Avenue, west of Bulldog Stadium. They demonstrated the library website, gave out flyers, and explained library services. Dancers, rappers, singers, and a movie entertained the crowd. Chief Dyer stopped by the library table for a photo opportunity.

Shannon and Terrance with Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer.
National Night Out helps build police-community bonds, promotes an anti-crime attitude, and brings neighborhoods together. Over 16,000 communities in the USA, its territories, Canada, and military bases participate. It was fun for the WoW! librarians to be a part of the celebrations.