While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited in-person services, Muncie Public Library (MPL) will continue to serve the community through several online and to-go services.
MPL launched its MPL-To-Go service June 1. Susan Fisher, MPL’s public relations supervisor, said in an email this service allows the libraries to provide curbside delivery of books and other materials for people.
The to-go service allows people to check out materials, pickup holds and make appointments to get copies, faxing or printing done and library card renewals, among other services, according to its Facebook page.
Fisher said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at the current stage, all in-person meetings of the library are cancelled to ensure social distancing and MPL is not yet open to the public.
“MPL Youth Services employees have created many online videos that offer children’s story times, reading activities, and craft activities,” she said. “MPL Adult Services staff have also created online resources, such as a Facebook Live book club and book reviews.”
Fisher said it is important and interesting to keep the libraries’ Summer Reading Program running because it allows people to read throughout the summer.
Donna Catron, branch manager at Kennedy Library, said in an email the summer program will run for four weeks, from July 6-30. She said reading logs will be available online and paper logs will also be made available for children who want them..
Fisher said interested participants should keep an eye out for additional information and other resources they might need when the summer program begins on the library’s website.
In addition, MPL will also continue providing other services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, like making face shields for essential workers.
The libraries make 3D printed face shields at its technology branch at Connection Corner, Fisher said. Its employees monitor the print each weekday to create frames for the face shields. A clear plastic shield and two rubber bands are then used to make the completed protective shield.
This project, she said, is supported by Ball State’s Office of Community Engagement which provides funds for some of the necessary supplies.While the libraries’ staff have returned to work, in order to maintain social distancing, some employees work in the morning and others in the afternoon.
“All MPL employees who have returned to work must have their temperature checked daily, are encouraged to report any signs of illness, and must wear a mask if they are working in an area with other employees,” Fisher said.
The libraries, she said, have already taken the necessary disinfection measures to make sure that the surfaces of objects that are frequently contacted have been cleaned. Fisher said additional information about the summer reading program and other resources for interested participants are made available on the library’s website.