Leading the Library through a pandemic which has changed the world is not something I trained to do. But remaining committed to our community, we tackled it as an opportunity to reset by evaluating services, programs, and facilities to determine what was working, needed to be added, changed, updated or ended.
Ways the Library adapted to the changing needs of our community during the Pandemic:
- Fines were temporarily eliminated, following the eviction moratorium. (expired September 1, 2021)
- Virtual Programming allows the Library to offer a wide range of informative, cultural and educational opportunities to learners of all ages and backgrounds from the comfort of home. (summer 2020)
- Book Bundles offers a personalized reading list for children, teens, and their families. (summer 2020)
- Homeschool Collections provide materials to supplement the homeschool curriculum. (August 2020)
- Student Digital Access (SDA) cards are available to every middle and high school student in Boone County Schools. The card gives students access to the Library’s digital resources without fines. (August 2020)
- 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten prepares children for starting school with an achievable goal. The child earns milestone badges, a certificate and a picture with Tales the Library Dragon. (January 2021)
- Wide-Area Mesh Network delivers Wi-Fi to households in the community that do not have an internet connection. Wi-Fi usage increased by 82% through this partnership with the City of Florence. (February 2021)
Physical materials increased by 9% over last fiscal year. eMaterials increased by 261%. We are yet to determine if the increase in eMaterial usage is permanent or temporary due to the pandemic.
In January 2020, the Library signed a contract with MSR Design to conduct a Facilities Master planning process. Five projects were recommended by the plan in the following priority order:
- Move the Walton Branch closer to I-75.
- Add 4,000 square feet and remodel the Florence Branch.
- Renovate the Main Library.
- Add 5,000 square feet and remodel the Scheben Branch.
- Review the Hebron Branch usage for future remodel.
All this work and more is supported by local tax dollars. In FY2021, for every one dollar in taxes, the citizens of Boone County received approximately $6.75 in value. What does the Library cost you? You pay 4.6 cents for every one hundred dollars of your property’s value in taxes to the Library. Utilize the Library you’ve already paid for! We are so much more than books.