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From the Director: Better Times Ahead

From the Director: Better Times Ahead

May 18, 2021

The past 14 months (almost to the day), have passed both incredibly fast and yet painfully slow. At times, it felt difficult to see a future that resembled the simpler times of the pre-pandemic past, and yet at others, it felt like months had flown by, and normalcy was just around the corner. Now, as more folks get vaccinated, slowing the virus spread, and the CDC has loosened its mask recommendations for these individuals, we are genuinely seeing the light ahead.

Today, Mid-Continent Public Library branches are expanding their hours and opening collaboration rooms for reservation at select locations. These changes, along with other pandemic procedures we’ve ceased in 2021 are certainly a big step toward restoring the traditional library experience for many customers. We encourage folks to follow recommendations from the CDC and local health departments, including observation of safe distances and being respectful of one another’s space. We are still planning and preparing in-person events—those will be coming soon. Thank you for your patience. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Throughout the past year, the Library has evolved its practices and procedures, striving to connect the community to important resources without sacrificing health and safety. New offerings like curbside service, high-speed Wi-Fi from the parking lots, virtual programs, and Wi-Fi To Go were developed and launched. Public computers were spaced out to comply with social distancing, and more resources were added to the Virtual Branch. Operating hours were changed to implement a new staff scheduling model that would decrease staff members’ exposure to one another and therefore decrease branch closures. Hours of operation and days of service will be restored over the next several weeks.

We know not all these changes were convenient. We love being here to serve, and we didn’t like them either. Speaking for the entire staff, we are happy to hopefully have these changes in our rearview mirrors. In fact, the entire road has been a bumpy one, and we deeply appreciate your support and patience as we tried to rebuild our engine, navigate the road map, and drive the car all at the same time!

In keeping with this driving metaphor, I want to close by thanking you again for sticking with us along the ride and tell you how proud we are at MCPL to be on this journey with you. I’m not sure what the road ahead looks like, but I already feel like the road is smoother today. Regardless of what the future holds, MCPL will always be in the seat right next to you.

Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director and CEO

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