A social media lesson for all in the wake of a tragic natural disaster!!!
I am extremely fortunate to have a client like the Westchester Library System (WLS) who in every way represents the meaning of community. WLS serves as a support system to its 38 member libraries of Westchester County, and for WLS, we (Drive Action Digital) provide strategy, services and training on how to use social media to further develop their community.
Through the Westchester Library System, a training seminar on social media was offered to the member libraries and almost 20 of them attended the first session on October 24th. There objectives of this seminar were to provide insight, information, education and training on social media regardless of the level of attendee. Additionally, we wanted to provide some examples of how the libraries and the WLS could work together in social media to make each effort more effective.
None of us in the room that day realized just how quickly this training would be put into action. In fact, this blog post would have a completely different meaning had it been written before October 29th. My tardiness finally pays off as Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast like a freight train. With millions out of power, cold, no phones, no school and no internet access, the libraries came to the rescue.
If you thought your local library was a place to pick up an occasional book, now thanks to SANDY, you know better!!! Countless residents without power headed to their local library and found much more than books. The libraries provided power to charge phones, laptops, ipads, etc. There was internet access available which helped business people get work done while their kids were occupied with games, books, classes and computers. And yes, there was heat, shelter and most of all, caring librarians giving back to their community.
But how did everyone know to go to the library? Thanks to the library's individual Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, locals were kept informed about hours of operation, services available, the waiving of late fees, and any other changes / updates that may effect their patrons. Additionally, the libraries began sharing the information posted by the others so all of Westchester was kept informed. And even today, the libraries continue to keep everyone informed on services, shelter, opportunities to donate to Hurricane Sandy relieve efforts, and even changes in voting locations.
So I say, THANK YOU to our local libraries for all you do and now I know you are more than just a place to get a book.
For those that may be interested, below is the presentation from our training day. Thank you, Anthony