Insta-Library: Connecting to Youth Through Instagram during COVID Times
Date: July 26, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Eastern Time
Donna Scheeder, Moderator
Presentation Title: Insta-Library: Connecting to Youth Through Instagram during COVID Times
In March 2020, New York City became the nation's epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis and shut down to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The 88 neighborhood branches and 4 research centers of the New York Public Library (NYPL) were some of the many places to physically close.
Prior to the pandemic, connecting with our young patrons beyond our physical spaces was integral to our work but it became apparent how vital these digital channels were when they became the sole way to connect with our community. As NYPL staff quickly transitioned to working from home, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) Teen Center team had the opportunity to create content for the @nyplteens Instagram page. As the targeted audiences are NYC teens and educators, the team established a more casual tone to separate us from the flagship account.
Over the past year, the Young Adult staff created posts highlighting NYPL service updates, critical city-wide COVID-19 information, community resources addressing food insecurity, and digital resources to assist with online learning. In response to the stress caused by social distancing, we created short-form content on "Adulting'' and coping and fostered connection by going Live with community-based organizations. To encourage youth to get involved, we disseminated information on civic opportunities and voting to support first-time youth voters. Recognizing that today's young people consider themselves more socially aware, we responded directly to the hyper-focus on racial inequalities and supported social justice by posting content that amplified Black authors and Black history.
With a full team behind the social media account, there was a marked growth in engagement and audience. Attendees to this presentation will learn user-friendly tools for content creation, methods for collaborative content, organizational techniques for schedule-keeping, and best practices for both reactionary and proactive responses.
Donna Scheeder, Moderator
Speakers: The New York Public Library - Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, Teen Center; Genee Bright, Senior Librarian, Susen Shi, Senior Librarian, Ricci Yuhico, Managing Librarian – Young Adult Education Programming; Caitlyn Colman-McGaw, Manager, Young Adult Programs.
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Sharon Rawlins, MLS, she/her/hers
Youth Services Specialist for Lifelong Learning
NJ State Library
185 West State St.
P.O. Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-0520
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609-278-2640 ext. 116
609-278-2650 – fax
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