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Imagine that a new resident has just arrived in your town. She’s eager to read the new Ruth Ware novel, but isn’t familiar with your library, so she hits the Internet to search for you. What does she find? What would you like for her to find?
Nebraska Libraries on the Web is a free service open to any public library in Nebraska. We use the WordPress platform to create robust and user-friendly library websites. Our sites are controlled by “themes” that modify the display of your site, meaning that your content will be presented in an appealing fashion automatically. You don’t have to worry about coding, just add text and images that tell the world about your library. For those who wish to alter aspects of their site’s theme, controls are available that allow you to tweak your font, colors, and more. You can even change your entire theme with one click to give your site a brand new appearance.
Because WordPress is so widely used, it’s not surprising that it works well with the biggest names on the Internet. Your site will arrive ready to connect to Facebook, Pinterest, and more. Any content that you add to your website can be automatically posted to your social networks, too. If you use Google Calendar, you can incorporate that directly into your new site, or use add-on tools called plugins to create a new calendar that displays your library’s events. Plugins also allow you to create surveys, contact forms, and forums, and host them all on your site. There’s probably a plugin for anything that you’d like to do with your site and Commission staff are available to assist you in tracking down the right tools. We also take care of software updates and security concerns, so you never have to worry about maintenance.
If this sounds like an approach that might work for your library, please contact Craig Lefteroff, or by phone at (402) 471-3106. For more information on the service or to view our current sites, please visit http://libraries.ne.gov/projectblog/.
Does it ever get exhausting trying to think up a menu for the week or whip something up on the fly? To simplify my life, I finally decided that we cook Mexican on Tuesdays and Italian on Thursdays. With leftovers two other nights, that only leaves three nights a week that we need to come up with something original. This approach to menu planning has also helped me write out my grocery shopping list each week.
You can apply this menu planning strategy to the maintenance of your library’s Facebook page or blog. With a topical calendar, you’ll be more easily inspired, you’ll narrow your focus, and your fan base will become more engaged as they look forward to your posts. If you include links, you’ll draw your readers to your website…a bonus!
Here’s an example schedule:
- Monday – New arrivals
- Tuesday – Collection or database highlight
- Wednesday – Three-sentence book review, with a link to the item in your catalog
- Thursday – Upcoming programs/events
- Friday – Show and tell. Ask fans to post pictures of themselves with what they’ve been reading that week.
Please comment below or e-mail me if you try this. I’d be curious to know how it’s working for you.
Adapted from this “The Nonprofit Facebook Guy” blog post.