What's Next?

John J. Brice - Library Director

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters yet another phase we are left asking ourselves what’s next? Throughout the last year, we at the Meadville Public Library have been hard at work, continuing to improve both our physical building and vastly expanding and streamlining our electronic services.

Building on the renovations made to the main floor last spring, we continued to work on the rest of the library’s interior over the winter. On the ground floor, new bookshelves have been added that provide better display space for children's books and provide easier access for kids. We also installed a new bulletin board shaped like a rocket that adds a touch of whimsy. New chairs, some of which are shaped like toadstools, and tables are also placed throughout the room.

On the second floor, which is still closed for a complete renovation, we are hard at work creating a space for technology and community programming. This floor will be divided into three sections: The north room will house the mediaLAB and feature plenty of space for collaboration and hands-on programming. The space will also have a small 10 person meeting area for public use. A central lounge area will feature comfortable chairs for reading and conversation. The south room will be left completely open, providing a panoramic view of Diamond Park. This area will serve as our primary programming space, a venue that can seat up to 80 people for lectures, conferences, movies, or any number of events that we hope to host once the pandemic has ended. When not in use for programs, the room will be a quiet and stunning space for study.

A look at the planned renovations on the top floor.
1. Programming Room 2. Central Lounge 3. Maker/Technology Space 4. Meeting Room

The second aspect of our recent improvements has come in the form of new electronic services that are freely available from home, regardless of the library’s operating status. To better showcase, all of our online services, MPL and the Crawford County Federated Library System have invested in a new website and search engine called Aspen.

Aspen combines all of our services Koha, Overdrive, and Hoopla, and lets you locate them all through one search. By typing in one term, you will see all of the resources logically laid out and whether they are available to checkout. You can explore everything Aspen and our improved website has to offer at

Meadville Public Library and its hard-working staff have been busy during the COVID downtime.  We have reengineered our services to create a new and improved version of what a public library can be while not forgetting what makes libraries a special place to visit. We look forward to offering these new services to you whenever you feel comfortable visiting us, either in person or online.

Spring Cleaning
Adult Services in the Age of Corona

Here on the Main Floor, we have been doing our own kind of spring cleaning; reorganising our entire DVD collection. We’ve listened to the patrons, and are finally getting rid of the plastic binders and white cards that were associated with checking out the movies. DVDs are now in brand new “locking” cases and are part of the browsing collection. They are now shelved alphabetically, separating the TV shows and the movies and are located under the mezzanine with the magazines, tool collection, newspapers, and audiobooks.

Another change will be a new public restroom that will be handicap accessible. It will be located by the elevator. We still don’t have the tables and chairs available at this time, but the public computers are available for browsing and printing.

In our “new” normal, we understand that some patrons might not be comfortable coming into the library, so we continue to offer more online options for audiobook, ebooks, movies, magazines, and music. Overdrive now offers magazines in addition to audiobooks and ebooks. Overdrive is available by getting the Libby app on your phones and tablets. Our biggest addition to the online family is Hoopla, a service that offers thousands of movies, music options, ebooks, and audiobooks to choose from. You can download the app to phones and tablets, and you can use your laptops with Hoopla, too. Just make sure you have your library card handy, and that your card is up to date. You can call the library with any questions on how to use Overdrive and Hoopla services.

Summer Fun

News from the Children's Room

Welcome back to the children’s floor! With our newest reopening, we have many things to share with you. Shelves have been reorganized, lighting has been improved, and new furniture has been placed in the maker space and craft areas. New displays in the picture book area will make it easier for young ones to browse. The young adult room interior design is looking good, so take the time to come in and check it out. There are shelves of new materials to borrow, come and visit as soon as you’re able! Summer Reading Club (SRC) is returning both in person and through Beanstack, the librarian-approved website and app.
The dates chosen for this year’s festivities are June 7th through August 6th. Books and other materials checked out at the library can be tracked on while participants earn virtual badges, prizes and even post their own reviews of books online. SRC take-and-make crafts will be available each week and SRC outdoor activities, outdoor storytime, and virtual activities are being planned. Of course, prizes will be offered throughout the summer with Grand Prizes being drawn at the conclusion of the program. Check with us for updates in person, online, or on social media, and be prepared to join us this summer for books, beasts, and bling!

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