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Meeting People Where They Are PDF Print
Written by Alyson Blankenship, Branch/Outreach Coordinator, Southern Oklahoma Library System   
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 10:46 AM

Topic(s): Outreach, Partnerships

As rural librarians we understand all too well the mantra of doing more with less, but never has this been truer than in our post-COVID world. As the world began to return to its “new normal,” staff at the Southern Oklahoma Library System (SOLS) wasn’t seeing the return of patrons into their libraries that they would have liked. SOLS serves a population of approximately 97,000 citizens across more than 3,300 square miles, and they do this with thirteen full-time staff and eight part-time staff. SOLS has eight library branches across five counties in Southern Oklahoma.

SOLS staff have always prided themselves on meeting people where they are, but this adage took on a whole new meaning when SOLS decided to meet people where they are not only location-wise, but also, where they are in their life. SOLS sought to communicate the importance of its public libraries to the communities it serves by showing that they not only provide “standard” library services, but also a multitude of other programs and services geared to benefit the community in a variety of ways. It did this through several avenues.