Innovation during the peak of a pandemic

Article image - Innovation during the peak of a pandemic The smallest council in Adelaide, Town of Walkerville has secured a large audience by being one of the first to get on-line events up and running.

From virtual yoga and gardening tours to online children’s programs and nutrition sessions – the Town of Walkerville has proven that a little community can go a long way in achieving big things.

The Township is the smallest council in inner metropolitan Adelaide, yet it was one of the first in the State, and if not Australia, to take its programs into the online realm in the midst of COVID-19.

When the greatest health crisis in living memory hit Adelaide, Council’s library, events, community programs and customer service team were thrown into a world of disarray.

Customer Experience Group Manager, Danielle Garvey, said, “In the height of one of the scariest periods we’ve seen in our lifetime, we turned online and made ‘digital’ our new reality.”

In response to face-to-face gatherings being suspended, along with the Federal Government directive to close public libraries, Walkerville library and events staff developed virtual programs for Council’s social media platforms and website.

Within three days of announcing the suspension of events, the first virtual pre-school video ‘Story time’ was posted, making the Town of Walkerville one of the first public libraries to share programs online.

The video reached more than 11,000 people within a few days.

Council continued to produce in-house videos of previously planned in-person events as a way for the community to stay tuned in from home.

What would normally take a small team months to organise – from new cameras and video editing software training – was fast tracked within a matter of days.

“Since re-opening on 18 May 2020, we’ve also had an unbelievable increase in online borrowings, with our e-loans up by 215 percent compared to the same time last year.

“We are looking forward to seeing how these trends evolve post COVID-19 and continuing to adapt our library services to meet our community’s changing needs and habits.”