Thursday, October 1, 2020

RCPL in the Age of COVID

The COVID pandemic has launched the Russell County Public Library into new territory. We are trying new ways to allow you to use the library--safely. New print materials are still arriving slowly, so we are building our downloadable collection of ebooks and digital audiobooks.
Our new holds lockers

Tablets and e-readers will be available for check out later this fall. So even if you don't have a tablet or Internet access, you can borrow an e-reader and download a few books while in the library. 

RCPL is excited about our new holds lockers. You can pick up the material you placed on hold without entering the building. The lockers will be on the porch of each library. You'll get a message that your hold has arrived and is available for pickup in a locker. Input your simple four-digit PIN number and the locker opens!

Lebanon Library will also get a new after-hours, outdoor book drop. We plan to place it so that you can drive by and return your library materials when the library is closed--no getting out in the rain and snow. 

Our first virtual program for adults and teens has launched. Family History Month is a mini-genealogy course with its own website, videos, links, and resources. Check it out.

To help our school students, RCPL is providing each student with an RCPL card so that they can access our ebooks for youth. The school librarians are issuing each student a patron card number (no actual card) that only allows digital access. It looks like we added a lot of patrons to our database, but over 3500 of them are named "Generic Student."

We are tweaking and building new services to meet patron needs in the times in which we live. The public library isn't merely a building. The public library is a community institution meeting the needs of citizens for information, access, education, and entertainment.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Digital and Distanced

As the summer ends, Russell County Public Library is moving more programs to digital platforms like Facebook and Zoom. Storytime returned today, September 9, on Facebook. In the weeks after, watch for book groups and crochet groups to start ‘meeting’ online.

An old newspaper clipping announcing the date of a PTA meeting
Newspaper clipping in the Lebanon PTA minutes

We have beefed up our collection of juvenile ebooks since the children will have limited access to their school libraries under the current hybrid schedule. We are also issuing each K-12 student a generic digital-access-only library card. The school librarians will distribute them in late September.

As the coronavirus continues through the population, everyone continues to adjust and become accustomed to the new normal. We will provide programs and suggest books and movies, allowing you to keep that safe distance of 6 feet.

We have loads of old, archival material coming available online this fall. School pictures from Castlewood (1940s-1970s), the Parent Teacher Association Minutes for Lebanon Elementary (1928-1950), business records for J.H. Lockhart, Dentist, of Honaker, and more will be linked from our Local History Page by October 1.

Family History Month will be celebrated in October. To introduce you to genealogy and recording your family history--while on a little screen--our plans include an ‘instructional’ video, a video chat/check-in, a webpage with links and downloadable pages, and a packet with forms and hints to help you each week of the month.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Friday, July 17, 2020

Summer Dreams

What were your dreams for summer? 
My dreams for the year and especially the summer
Aerial Geology
involved travel. The "novel coronavirus" destroyed that dream!

Southwest Virginia has become a travel destination. We do have beautiful scenery. If you are stir-crazy, get outside. Take a ride--and maybe a walk/hike--to enjoy what people from across the country and the world come to visit.

With the heat of summer upon us, do you fancy some armchair traveling? RCPL has lots of lovely books that allow you to see our beautiful earth, the sea, and space from the comfort of your home. Just wander through the stacks, particularly in the 500s and 900s, and look for the big coffee table books lying on their sides at the end of shelves, just waiting to go home with you.

RCPL has reopened although occupancy is still limited. That means we need folks to come in, get what they want or need, and leave. That makes sure there is room for the next person that needs to come in the library. Fortunately, that's not been a problem; it's still much too quiet! Don't hesitate to stop by. We've created "Grab & Go" bundles for you; each bundle has at least 3 items on a theme from Amish to Zombies, from cowboys to cooking.

If you haven't gotten involved with our summer reading program, it's not too late. There will be a LIVE (online) children's program; registration is necessary. It's scheduled for July 30; if you are busy that day or don't have Internet, register anyway! You can watch the recording anytime during the first two weeks in August--even at your library! Adults can pick up a Summer Reading Bingo sheet; complete it and be entered in a drawing for a gift card to a local restaurant.

Find a new dream for this summer.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Friday, June 5, 2020

Imagine Your Story at RCPL

Summer Reading Program (just a little different)

School is out, but children are always learning. We plan to give children some things to keep their imagination active this summer. 

Let me back up just a moment and introduce myself! My name is Sarah Perrigan and for many of my fellow Russell Countians, we have not been formally introduced, at least not face-to-face. I am the new Children's Program Coordinator and I am happy to announce that our Summer Reading Program, oftentimes referred to as SRP, will take place this summer.

Naturally, SRP is going to look a little different from what we are accustomed to as a result of COVID-19 (#saferathome). This week, my primary focus has been in getting book baggies together to send home to all school-aged children in Russell County that have registered or will register for SRP 2020. Parents will pick up the baggies using our curbside service. Baggies will consist of:
  • One new book
  • One bingo sheet
  • Two fun activity sheets
  • One craft to put together with me during our SRP Zoom meetings
  • One reading log

Elementary SRP will occur in Zoom meetings on Tuesdays at 2:30 PM, while Teen SRP meetings will take place via Zoom on Thursdays at 2:30 PM. Preschool summer reading will take place on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM via Facebook Live which will take the place of the storytime slot.

Our summer reading finale will be a performance just like you are accustomed to, only it will be online. You may watch it at one of our libraries if you don't have internet. I think you will love what we have planned for our SRP finale.

posted by Sarah Perrigan

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Reopening the Libraries

We're back! (almost)Resuming Regular Operations...sweet words to the library staff.
We have a phased reopening plan, subject to approval and change. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our patrons and staff. And we will change our plan anytime we deem it safe and prudent. Phase 1 and 2 are getting staff back in the building to prepare for reopening under state and local emergency guidelines.

When we reopen, we will expect you to respect the 6' social distancing rule while you are on the library property. You will see public (and staff) areas have been rearranged to better accommodate social distancing. We will have an entrance and exit door, to facilitate social distancing. We have a sneeze guard at our Circulation Desk and staff will be wearing masks and/or gloves. We hope you will wear a mask while in the building, too. (We have some to loan--washed after every use--because we are a library!) We take your safety and ours very seriously.

"WHEN?!" you ask. After Memorial Day, during Phase 3, we will resume curbside pickup and computer use by appointment. Computer use will be limited--to economic development and business needs, such as un/employment applications, faxing, and printing. Then we transition to library visits by appointment, followed by 'regular' operations--open doors but social distancing as long as recommended by health agencies. Lebanon Library reopens first, followed by Honaker Community Library--after we work the kinks out of our plan! Once Lebanon reopens, patrons in an at-risk population may come in between 9 am and 10 am.

We miss seeing our regulars. We know that members of our community depend on the library for work, pleasure, and education. You use computers (for employment, business, fun, communication, and more); check out books, DVDs, and magazines; send copies or faxes, and use the wifi. The only thing you CAN still do is use our wifi and download. You can download books and magazines and music.

Staff have been working during the closure. Learning via online webinars, and in staggered shifts, in the buildings. You'll see changes to make it easier to find what you want in the library.  We will even try to help you find things you didn't know you wanted!

We look forward to reopening. But we understand if you want to stick with using curbside service for a while. Check here soon for an update on the Summer Reading Program for children, teens, and adults. And remember, you are...

posted by Kelly McBride Delph