Starting my third year at this school, I feel that I have progressively gotten better at keeping parents informed about library events, special projects, checkout procedures, overdue books, and everything else library-related that they would be curious to know. This year, I subscribed to Smore (which I used heavily at my previous middle school but not so much my first two years here), and I plan to use it for everything!
I got back into using this online newsletter tool last year when I created my So you’ve read Harry Potter – what’s next? list. I shared it on my blog and Twitter, but I didn’t email it directly to anyone.
At the beginning of this school year, I knew that I wanted my first newsletter to families to be chock-full of information, yes, but also visually appealing and easy to navigate. I love how simple it is to do this using Smore.
Rather than embedding the newsletter into my blog, I instead emailed the flyer to all of our Lower School families directly from Smore. The advantage to doing it this way is that I could see who opened the email, who clicked on the newsletter, and how long they spent viewing it. When I see that the newsletter has been delivered to 211 email addresses with only 119 of them actually opening it, I can better manage my expectations of how much families really know about the library. I also know that some families have multiple addresses listed, so if one parent has seen it, that’s enough.
We just finished our book fair last week, so I created the following Smore in about 15 minutes to send out to families thanking them for their support. You can see how versatile it is!
While I plan on using Smore heavily for parent communications, I know that I need to diversify my avenues of parent contact. Just standing outside at dismissal time (chaotic as it is!) is a good way to strike up conversations with parents. If they see me, they also might remember something they wanted to share with or ask me.
What ways do you find are most successful in communicating with parents and families? I’m always looking for new ideas!
During our Back2School night we host the snacks and coffee in the Library that all parents must have to make it through the night. This provides a great opportunity to meet, greet, discuss, and show off our library digs, as well as connect parents with the students we see on a daily basis.
I am always looking for ways to communicate with our community of users… I am thinking I might use S’mores to connect with my faculty on a regular basis?
Thanks for the post!
Your newsletter is lovely! I haven’t done much electronic “all family” outreach, but our Middle School students have their own emails, and I dash of a note of a new book or whatever to groups or individuals, when I can. I often cc a parent both because the student might not check email, and because I want the parent to be aware of the great library service we can deliver here!