Events putting public libraries back at the heart of communities

5th December 2022

A visit to a library is now as likely to be to attend an event as it is to borrow a book. With the importance of events only set to grow, we’ve enhanced Spydus, our library management system, to better support public libraries in delivering this vital part of their offer.

According to Libraries Connected libraries get more visits each year than any other cultural service. The public libraries of the 21st century are no longer just places to read, study and borrow books. The last 30 years have seen them gradually repositioned as community hubs.

Visitors can now expect to find a busy programme of cultural services and events alongside the traditional lending offer. Their reach extends across income brackets, ages and ethnicities, making them well-placed to promote wellbeing and cohesion in local communities, as laid out in Libraries Connected’s Universal Library Offers which aim to connect communities, improve wellbeing and promote equality through learning, literacy and cultural activity.

A library will tailor its event programme to the local community, just as it manages its physical collections to meet local needs. The Spydus Events module links borrowers with events, collects event payments and tracks registration in real time. It makes it simple for library staff to create digital content to promote their events via social media, drive engagement and bring-in new borrowers. Whether the event is physical or virtual, free or costed, Spydus Events offers the seamless digital sign-up process that today’s users expect.

Full integration with Spydus means libraries can easily identify people who have attended similar events in the past or who have borrowed books on a related subject. They can then send closely targeted email campaigns directly from the library management system to those who have opted in.

Physical events are an important way to engage the community and often support lending. For example parents bringing toddlers to Rhyme Time invariably borrow some books for the toddlers to read. And maybe something for themselves too. Using Events in Spydus links the event to the borrower, just the same as loans are linked to the borrower, which means everyone can manage everything in one system.

However arguably some of libraries’ most valuable work is done via outreach. The cloud means library staff can benefit from Spydus wherever they are, be that engaging with people out in the community or working from home.

Getting statistics on event attendance is vital for operational reasons and sometimes to attract funding. Spydus Events puts the event registration and attendance in the borrower’s record, alongside loans, reservations and other library transactions, making it all very easy and familiar to report on.

To learn more about how Spydus could help your library’s event plans:

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