One of the best things about our recent renovation is seeing people’s initial reactions when they walk into the library. There’s a sense of pride and excitement that people experience when they see a beautiful library built just for them. We’re obviously proud of our new spaces and love showing them off to our community, but one of the challenges these days is to reach those people who might not be regular visitors of the physical library for whatever reason. Trust me, I’m all about connecting with and serving people through our online presences, but I still think there’s something special about being among others in your community in a physical space.
To help entice people to visit the library, we recently worked with a “trusted” Google Business Photos photographer to create a full virtual tour of the public spaces in the library. I couldn’t be happier with the result. Check it out below!
Here’s more about the process for anyone who’s interested:
- The first step was to visit Google Business Photos to get some names of trusted photographers in the area.
- Next, I created a tentative path throughout the library’s floor plan to start the conversation with the photographers and received quotes for the work. The photographers are freelancers but they are also trained by Google to shoot the tours and upload them. The quotes were based on the same path.
- I still needed to get final approval from our administration so I put together a short proposal with the reasoning for doing this, information about the quotes, and my suggestions for next steps.
- A photographer, Joni Kat Anderson, was chosen and the contract was signed, but the shoot was delayed because we didn’t want our summer reading installation in our Kids’ World area to be in the shot since it’s a temporary thing. We wanted the library to be captured in its “normal” state however much possible.
- The actual shoot was scheduled for 6am (yep, you read that right!) on a Sunday morning. The thought was to get several hours where the photographer would not have to dance around people roaming throughout the library. We had a second day scheduled but didn’t need it because everything went so well. During the shoot, I stayed with the photographer the entire time to help answer any questions she had about our spaces and make sure everything looked right. We also received a ton of still photos as part of our package. We own the rights to all of the photos and can use them however we want.
- The photographer came back later that week to reshoot a couple of things that didn’t look right to her when she started to stitch together the photos. I appreciated the desire to make everything perfect!
- One week after the shoot, the tour went up!
Yesterday, I spent some time embedding specific points of the tour within our website to further make that connection between the virtual and physical. Here are some examples: