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Books, Buttons and Bright Smiles

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Books, Buttons and Bright Smiles

Forsyth County Public Library, N.C.

Health & Wellness | 2020

Innovation Synopsis

Come into any FCPL Branch and show us your smiling face. As part of "Books, Buttons and Bright Smiles," the library will take your picture and mail you a button within seven to 10 working days. You can wear your button in the library or anywhere else you go. It's our way of making the community look a little friendlier.


FCPL has had to adapt the way we serve the public, depending heavily on virtual contact. Any interactions we are able to conduct in person require our faces be obscured by masks. With most people either quarantining or social distancing at home and local limits on gathering being very modest, even visiting public spaces like the library can leave us wanting the warmth of a friendly smile. The buttons are a reminder that although accessing the library may look different, the library community is still a friendly place.

Key Elements of Innovation

The program is open to anyone to participate. People simply go to their favorite library branch during regular operating hours, fill out a registration form and smile for the camera. Some randomly chosen buttons will also include a sticker inviting the person to return to the library to receive a free book. These books have been donated and are suited to a range of ages. Participants are also encouraged to post a picture of themselves on social media wearing their button, using #SMILEWITHFCPL.

Achieved Outcomes

One hundred twenty-five people have participated in this community strengthening project so far, which runs through November 28. People enthusiastically support the goals of this project and often will choose to return and participate on a date they are looking their best. Teachers and tutors have commented on the difficulty of working with children while wearing masks and that this is a small way to make the interaction warmer and friendlier.