The Times They Are A Changin'

John J. Brice - Library Director

Bob Dylan encapsulated our current situation when he said, "the times they are a-changin'."

Much has changed since I wrote my last column. Of course, the current big change is COVID-19. However, an even bigger change has slowly been occurring over the past twenty years. Our print world of books, newspapers, magazines, and large library buildings is being overtaken by smartphone screens, web sites, and WiFi. When the shutdown occurred in March, MPL decided to take a moment to pause and reflect how the world has changed and how we as a library had to face some hard facts.

During the past 20 years, MPL has recorded that adult book usage has declined by over 60% while demand for meeting and collaboration space, internet usage, and access to multimedia has increased to represent over 30% of our service activity. So during the pandemic shutdown, and after much deliberation, the MPL board decided to revise how we offer services not only during the pandemic but, more importantly, afterward.

We reorganized the library to combine all of the physical material collection to the ground level (Children’s and Young Adult) and main floors (non-fiction, fiction, large print, and magazines).  And along the way remodeled the main floor by removing 30-year-old carpeting and wallpaper and opening up the space to take advantage of the natural light provided by our iconic windows. With the reorganization and renovations now complete and our doors reopened (albeit with some changed policies), we hope our patrons will share our excitement of the new open main floor layout housing both fiction and nonfiction collections. 

Post pandemic, we plan to re-open the top floor as a dedicated space for study, meetings, collaboration, digital creation, and technology. It will be an adjustment for all of us to get used to the new layout, but change is also a natural part of a library’s evolution. The Meadville Public Library has always been known as a library that keeps up with the times when they are a-changin'.

The Digital Age
Adult Services in the Age of Corona

When we were forced to close down due to COVID-19, we noticed that our online services tripled in use. That got us thinking about our online services, and looking at ways to serve our patrons at home. As a result, we have ordered more audiobooks and ebooks from Overdrive. We also added access to RB Digital, because we wanted magazines to be available online as well. This new app is free to download, just make sure you have your library card handy. RB Digital has over 200 magazines to choose from so there is something for everyone! 
Newsbank, a service that lets you search for newspapers, magazines, and other news content are also available online.
We soon hope to provide access to additional apps that will enable you to check out even more ebooks, and audiobooks, as well as music and hundreds of movies and TV shows too! We are still working out the details, but we will let our patrons know that new apps are available to download as soon as it is up and running. 
We also know that many of our patrons rely on us for internet access, so we plan to invest more in our hotspot program in the coming year. Of course, we are still a library and will still be ordering new books, books on CD, DVD’s, and magazines. Whether it’s in our physical building or from the comfort of your own home, we, the Meadville Public Library, will still be here for you, our patrons.

One of the new Cuddle Buddies for the book Dragons Love Tacos hangs out in the Children's Room.
Room To Grow

Youth Services expands to include young adults and lots of new services

Has the COVID-19 quarantine got your kids down? Then the Children’s Room has a few ideas for you! During this time of isolation, we have been hard at work updating our services to provide educational opportunities for MPL’s youngest patrons. Here are some new services to look forward to on your next visit:

  • New, Large Young Adult space
  • Online Programming with Stories and Puppet Shows
  • Playaway Wonderbooks and Launchpad tablets
  • Large display area for the children’s graphics collection
  • Book Bag Collection with Cuddle Buddies
  • Take & Make Craft Packets
  • Video Games
  • Online Children’s Learning Resources through Power Kids and Brightly
  • New additions to all collections each month!
Visit our website for the latest booklists, story times, and updates from the Children's Room!
Copyright © 2020 Meadville Public Library, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp