How Libraries Can Streamline and Improve Reading Programs with Online Forms
It’s easy to think of the young-adult Millennial generation as tech-obsessed and dismissive of older ways of doing things. So it might surprise you that Millennials (those approximately 35 years old and younger) love public libraries and actually use them more than their older counterparts do. This was discovered by a Pew research survey which was careful to separate use of public libraries (by choice) versus college and university libraries (which they may visit out of necessity).
More than half of Millennials surveyed said they had visited a public library in the previous year compared to only 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of baby boomers, and only 36% of adults over 70. Since Millennials are in prime child-rearing years, they often bring their children along, perhaps thinking back on the summer reading programs they participated in as kids.
While Millennials like public libraries, they don’t like inefficiency. Make your library’s summer reading program tech- and mobile-friendly and you can count on more success than if you try to do everything on paper. With the right form software, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Mobile-Friendliness Is Key
If, instead of stopping by the library to fill out paper forms to enroll their children in children’s programs (or themselves in adult summer reading programs), patrons can enroll right from their phone or other mobile devices, you demonstrate that you value their time. Many public libraries offer children’s reading programs in conjunction with free lunch programs for kids to bring more low-income children into the library. While just about everyone has a smartphone, not everyone has WiFi at home, so making sign-up forms mobile-friendly is a key to having a broad reach with your reading program.
Time Spent Reading vs. Number of Books Read
Many libraries are shifting away from emphasizing the number of books read to emphasizing the amount of time spent reading. Librarians want to promote the idea that time spent reading is time well-spent, regardless of how many pages are consumed. Today there are apps that can be used by young readers to track time spent reading, and when your online form software is able to integrate with apps, or otherwise makes it easy for readers to track progress, they’re likelier to stick with it than if they’re faced with filling in paper forms repeatedly.
Sign-Ups for Special Events
Getting older children into summer reading programs at libraries requires offering activities that they find interesting. This is often quite different from what their younger siblings like. But planning for a ‘tween or teen activity is challenging if you don’t plan with consultation from appropriately aged kids themselves, or if you don’t make it easy to sign up.
Some libraries have high schoolers create video book reviews that can be shared online, and others may hold book discussion periods or board game tournaments. When such activities are promoted online and can be enrolled in online, inconvenience becomes less of an excuse to miss them. What’s more, buying supplies is easier when you know how many participants to expect.
Form Software Designed for Form Users
Your library, your patrons, and your reading programs are all unique, so trying to adapt someone else’s forms to work for you can be an exercise in frustration. However, when you have form software that was made for form users and that doesn’t require programming or complex technical skills to use, you can create custom forms yourself – forms that do exactly what you want them to do.
PerfectForms has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, so you can drag and drop form elements into place, and add visual interest easily as well. Moreover, PerfectForms is perfectly mobile-friendly, so you can create forms that your library patrons can access and submit right from their mobile devices. Whether you want to help your readers track reading time, sign up for reading program events, or simply make the best use of your library offerings, PerfectForms can help.
You’ll be amazed how straightforward it is to create great-looking, fully customized forms that do the job with maximum efficiency. Want to test drive PerfectForms and see what it’s all about? No problem. Just sign up for a free trial and learn for yourself how this powerful, flexible, user-friendly software can take your library programs to a higher level of excellence and efficiency.
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