Looking Back: Celebrating the Success of Virtual Programs April – June 2020

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The global pandemic is reshaping the way audiences interact with PBS Books and libraries around the country. We want to look back at recent months and celebrate the success of this year’s PBS Books virtual programming efforts and partnerships.

  • Our June author talk with Elaine Weiss and panel discussion on women’s suffrage has over 20,000 views on Facebook as of 6/30/20 at 12pm. More than 175 libraries signed up to share the stream and 91 library partners cross posted the event, which is part of our summer-long Trailblazing Women Virtual Series. Special thanks to Elaine Weiss, Dr. Treva Lindsey, Jen Miller, Jennifer Schwed, and Doug Bradshaw for participating on the panel!
  • In April, our PBS Books team and DPTV digital and engagement team partnered with WCMU and 12 libraries throughout Southeast and Central Michigan to offer a virtual screening and panel discussion of THE GENE: An Intimate History on the shared media viewing platform OVEE. 302 people signed up to join the event and many stayed for the entire experience, with an average viewing time of 69 minutes. In a survey given after the event, 94% of the respondents stated they would now watch the documentary series on PBS based on this screening. The PBS Books Virtual Event explored the various themes discussed in THE GENE, as well as the experts’ thoughts about how viruses like COVID-19 are related to, impacted by, and interact with genes. Thank you to the panel participants: Chris Durahnt, Dr. Howard Markel, Dr. Susan J. Baserga, Dr. Ting Wu, and Dr. Stanley Perlman!
  •  In May, PBS Books hosted an evening with Leysa Cerswell Kielburger about the WE Well-Being Playbook which has 9,600 views on Facebook as of 6/30/20 at 12pm. In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, a panel of top psychologists/professors/researchers/educators offered expert strategies on how to stay healthy during this pandemic with increased stresses. 81 library partners cross-posted the event. Special thanks to Dr. Dave Anderson, Leysa Cerwell Kileburger, and Dr. Jacqueline L. Sanderlin for participating on our panel!
  • In May, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration for Kids featured a live an interactive discussion with author Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat about their book Drawn Together. The video has 14,600 views on Facebook as of 6/30/20 at 12pm and was cross posted by 99 library partners.
  • In April, PBS Books hosted a National DNA Day Virtual Event as part of our promotion/engagement effort with WETA around THE GENE in partnership with 9 PBS stations and 120 libraries across the country. Engagement was a record 24% for the live event. There have been 1,300 views and a reach of 8000, and engagement continues to grow.

Thanks again to all of our library partners for helping to make these events so successful. We look forward to seeing how our virtual programming continues to grow in the coming months!

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