Creativity in Quarantine: Innovative Library Ideas During the Pandemic

August 20, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Ohio Library Council via Zoom

This webinar was recorded and posted on the OLC website.

Sponsored by: Ohio Library Council

Register at my OLC | Deadline to register: 8/17/20

FREE* for OLC members only.
*Individual members or staff of OLC Institutional member libraries.

When registering, click “Finalize This Transaction” instead of “Pay Now” as there is no cost to participate.

Webinar Overview:
When Ohio’s public libraries closed their buildings in March to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, library staff quickly came up with ways to continue to serve their communities. Libraries are masters at adapting and this crisis only fueled their creativity. During this webinar, you’ll have the opportunity learn more about the amazing ideas implemented at Ohio’s public libraries during the pandemic. Topics include:

Greene County Public Library

  • Makerspace initiatives
  • Creating PPE
  • Video instruction
  • Sign and floor decal production
  • Innovative library services
  • Home collections

Dayton Metro Library

  • Youth initiatives
  • Partnering to provide free food at all 18 library branches
  • Shifting the popular in-person Career Adventures Camp online
  • Imagine Your Story Reading and Adventure Camp

Lorain Public Library

  • Digital inclusion initiatives
  • WiFi hotspot distribution to schools
  • Chromebook distribution to senior living centers
  • Creating a new Library on the Lake

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library

  • Workforce development initiatives
  • Facebook Live Lunch & Learns  events
  • Providing job search assistance from home


  • Diane Farrell, Director of External Relations and Development, Dayton Metro Library
  • Mandie Burns, Youth Services Director, Dayton Metro Library
  • Cara Kouse, Innovation and Makerspace Manager, Greene County Public Library
  • Sam Lewis, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Lorain Public Library
  • Keith Armour, Education and Homework Support Manager, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Learning Objective: Learn how to implement inventive ideas at your library in spite of the current pandemic and the challenges it presents.

Intended Audience: All public library staff.

What’s Included: Participation in the live webinar and/or access to the archived version at a later date, resources (if applicable) provided by the presenters.

NOTE: Webinar invitations and access information will be sent via e-mail. Please check that your correct e-mail address is listed in your my OLC profile page.

Continuing Education Credits: For those working toward their Ohio Public Librarian or Ohio Public Library Staff re-certification, this webinar counts as 1.5 continuing education contact hours of credit.

Primary Ohio Public Library Core Competencies Addressed: Innovation and Adaptability


About the presenters:

Diane Farrell joined the Dayton Metro Library in October 2013 as Director, External Relations and Development. She oversees all marketing, promotions and fundraising activities for both the Library and the Library Foundation, as well as revenue-generating special events department. She is co-chair of the Library’s equity, diversity & inclusion committee. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Diane is intimately involved with key strategic partnerships; career and workforce development, summer enrichment, and early childhood literacy.

Mandie Burns is the Youth Services Director at the Dayton Metro Library and a member of the library’s senior leadership team. She served as past coordinator of the OLC’s Children’s Services Division Action Council and the Ohio Ready to Read literacy task force. Mandie is currently a statewide trainer for the task force, a role which enables her to share ways to incorporate essential early literacy and pre-reading skills into daily routines for children from birth through age 5 with librarians, parents, and educators.  Mandie is a member of the Ohio team that was competitively selected to participate in the third cohort of the nationwide Leap Into Science initiative kicking off later this year. With 18 years of experience working in public libraries, she has worked on a variety of initiatives and trained library professionals on many topics through workshops, conferences, and webinars.

Cara Kouse is the Innovation and Makerspace Manager at the Greene County Public Library. After five years at an academic library and ten years in public library branch management, she was very excited to have the opportunity to create and manage a makerspace. Spark Place at the Greene County Public Library’s Xenia, Ohio location opened in April 2017 and contains thirteen types of equipment. Cara loves her work providing the literacy of making to the community!

Sam Lewis is the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Lorain Public Library System (LPLS), and has worked for LPLS since 2013. He manages a wide array of projects and initiatives, and works on everything from the 2020 Census to LPLS’s Culinary Literacy initiative to community digital inclusion projects and more. He believes in the library as the connective force of a community, and his passion is working on projects that create avenues to equity and accessibility for all.

Keith Armour is the Education & Homework Support Manager for the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County.  He oversees the system-wide Homework Support program as well as the Adult Learning Center at the Main library. The Adult Learning Center provides a variety of services: Career Assistance, HSE Study Groups, ESOL Conversational English, Basic Academic Skill Building and Exam Proctoring.