Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, area libraries have had to connect with the community in new ways, including social media.
Wallingford Public Library
On Fridays, Christopher Ciemniewski, publicity and public services librarian, posts a photo of a Funko Pop Vinyl on the library’s Instagram and Facebook pages as a part of #FunkoFriday. However, this social media strategy did not start because of the pandemic.
“I started using the Funko Pop Vinyls in social media posts around the summer of 2018,” Ciemniewski said. “As part of the Teen Summer Reading Program that year we had put together a sci-fi themed escape room. “We used a few sci-fi Funko characters as part of a puzzle in the room. The teens who participated got really excited when they saw the characters.”
Ciemniewski said they now use the pop culture collectibles as a way to promote library services, news announcements or library humor.
“It’s a fun way to promote library services because it may catch people’s attention more than just a plain text announcement,” Ciemniewski said. “One of our library values is to foster an atmosphere of creativity and fun so I think they help fulfill that role on our social media platforms.”
All of the Funko Pop Vinyls featured come from the collections of staff members.
“I think most of our staff members own at least one or two figures, but some of our staff members are more avid collectors,” Ciemniewski said. “Between all of our staff members we probably have around 300 characters available …”
Cheshire Public Library
Louise LeClaire, library social media coordinator, said the Cheshire Public Library is active on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and blogs.
“So if we’re having a cooking program, we might do a blog post about cookbooks or something like that and then tie it into the library program,” LeClaire said. “On Instagram, what I often do, I promote the programs in our Instagram story and sometimes I post it on our newsfeed...I often post pictures from the program after the fact … On Facebook it is promoting before the fact.”
As a way to bring the browsing experience to patrons online, LeClaire takes photos of the newest books and other materials.
“Usually on Tuesdays, we call it ‘New Book Tuesday,’” LeClaire said. “... So people can zoom in on the pictures and do a little browsing...If they see something they want, they can request it online and we can get it ready for them to do like a grab and go pick up. You don’t even have to come into the building.”
Meriden Public Library
The Meriden Public Library has been using Facebook, Instagram and its website “to show what we’re doing, what’s happening and also highlighting the things in our collection,” said Lauren Thompson, head of community services.
During Black History Month in February, the library posted about those who influenced Black history in the United States.
“It was a small campaign that we did and people could click through and see a little information,” Thompson said. “It’s a small tidbit of information, but it was a way that we could highlight Black History Month...”