Summer Outreach Crew: An Experiment
In an effort to bring engaging and interactive programming to families around our city and to promote summer reading, the Beaverton City Library formed a Summer Outreach Crew (SOX) of six staff members that visited parks, apartment complexes, free lunch sites, camps, and summer school sites from June to August 2019. Each member of SOX visited an outreach location in the community for approximately one hour once a week where they interacted with lots of children, teens, and caregivers who in some cases were not regular library users. We brought science experiments, games, trivia, robots, art activities, and much more and left families excited about what the library has to offer! Regardless of the size of your staff or the funding available, we believe there are aspects of our outreach plan that would work for any library.
When we set out to start planning our summer outreach efforts, we wanted to ensure we visited some areas of our city that were not close to either of our two library branches and were not already receiving services from the library. We also wanted to be sure to visit locations where families were already present, rather than asking families to come to us. We put together a team of staff who were especially excited about bringing library services outside our four walls and programming in non-traditional spaces.