March 24, 2020
I enjoy writing blog posts and sharing how the Library can help you in your everyday pursuits. But in a challenging time like this, I realize it is maybe more important than ever.
First, I have to tell you how hard it was to initially decide to limit Library services on March 12, and then ultimately close the Library buildings on March 16. From a public safety standpoint, and considering what public health officials have advised, it was the only right choice. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t difficult! Our staff members live to provide service to their communities. Taking service away is just not what we are about, and personally, it’s not how I’m wired. So, while necessary, it was very hard for all of us at Mid-Continent Public Library.
For many years, the Library has worked hard to take its service beyond its four walls, meeting customers where they’re at, including in the cyberspace. Whether interacting in our Facebook Readers’ Lounge, or providing eBooks, eAudiobooks, or eMagazines for you to download, the Library has found ways to serve you outside its physical space. MCPL currently has more than 127,000 online titles for you to download, but given the high demand right now, my fellow library directors and I have been working hard to gain more from publishers. Fortunately, publishers are being very good about lowering prices to help us acquire more content and satisfy demand.
The Library is continuing to find new ways to provide service with the new limits with which we are all living. Perhaps you could join us on our Facebook page on weekdays at 10:00 a.m. for live, virtual storytimes and videos about early literacy activities. I’m really excited about how our Square One team is working with the small business community to help entrepreneurs retool and adapt their businesses through short online courses (through their Facebook page) and one-on-one Skype consultations.
As Examiner Editor Jeff Fox recently pointed out, this time inside with your family is a great time to start or pick up your family history research. Visit the Midwest Genealogy Center’s website, and access Ancestry Library Edition (and many other great resources!) from home for free.
The Library has a lot more planned for you as we adjust and adapt! We will keep posting updates on social media and the website, and we will continue to contact you through email with updates and new opportunities. But for now, please practice social distancing, flatten the curve, and as Teddy Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director & CEO