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Austin Public Library, Texas

Health & Wellness | 2020 | Top Innovator

Innovation Synopsis

APL+ is a video platform for Austin Public Library's virtual programming. It is an all-in-one video platform solution that empowers staff to create programming for a wide spectrum of customers. In doing so, APL is able to recontextualize the library program experience for patrons at a quality that APL's patrons have come to expect.


Pivoting to digital programming posed a number of challenges — from video backend logistics, assessment and distribution of technology, ad-hoc training for video software and management. The challenges that APL+ faced are not unique. What is unique, though, is the scale of the project and quality of its programming. By creating a robust backend, APL+ was able to create programming for all sectors of APL's patrons, establish partnerships with nonprofit organizations, school districts and other City of Austin entities.

Key Elements of Innovation

In a short period of time and while working remotely, the APL+ team needed to create an all-in-one video platform solution that can become a central part of the library's website, offer an organizational video backend that placed as little strain as possible on the City of Austin's bandwidth, provide a workflow that empowers hundreds of staff members to create virtual programming, create an aesthetic that is professional and engaging and have that video platform be compatible with education partners for at-home learning.

Achieved Outcomes

Since launching APL+ in April, the platform has over 120 virtual programs available and received over 15,000 views on Vimeo. It is poised to outpace original projections due to the expanding number of partnerships with nonprofit partners, civic engagement organizations and area school districts. When APL+ content is cross-posted on social media, we see a 300% uptick in views untracked by the platform. As at-home education begins to expand into next year, we anticipate APL+ being a complementary tool for educators.