The James V. Brown Library's new website, Connect Williamsport.com, has seen tremendous growth in community participation since it was launched Feb. 1.
"The purpose of the site is to be a clearinghouse for all community events taking place in the Williamsport area," said Barbara McGary, library director. "Our goal is to have people use and update the site frequently to discover the many wonderful activities taking place in Williamsport."
Community organizations, nonprofits and businesses are encouraged to register on the site as a user so they can add their events as they occur.
Or, members of the community may email their events to for consideration. Once approved, the events will be entered into the site.
According to Robin Glossner, development director at the library, a unique feature of the site is that it can be filtered to search for events within categories, such as arts, music and entertainment; downtown nightlife; family fun; community and local government; games and sports; health and wellness; and free events.
The library also has enlisted the help of Dana Borick Brigandi as community partner liaison. Brigandi is responsible for reaching out to organizations in the community, adding events and locations, and assisting registered users with the site.
"The community has been extremely supportive in registering and using this site," Brigandi said. "Nonprofits and smaller groups that typically would have had to take out paid advertising to announce their events now have a free way to do so."
Glossner said that although the grant specifically was for the Williamsport area, the library is not excluding community organizations and partners within the greater Williamsport area.
"We want as many groups and people as possible to use the site to announce their events and see what is happening in the community," Glossner said. "Those who register will have control over their events and can add logos for their organization or any photos to accompany their calendar entries."
The site is only as successful as those who use it, Brigandi added. "It's important to not only add events, but to check the site frequently for other events happening in the region," she said.
"Even entering private events can help ensure that multiple events are not happening at the same time."
Connect Williamsport is the result of years of planning by the staff and board of directors of the James V. Brown Library, along with other community partners.
The comprehensive project was funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and was designed by Trainor, New Hartford, N.Y.
Members of the Connect Williamsport team also are available to speak to community organizations and provide demonstrations about the website.
For more information, visit jvbrown.edu. To schedule a demonstration or to have members of the library speak to your organization, contact Glossner at 326-0356.