Are you offering ANY staff services while closed?

Interested in hearing how libraries are continuing to provide some staffed services while closed and whether people are availing themselves of those services?  Chat or some online reference service at least?  Can patrons get anyone by phone?

I'm also curious if anyone is issuing new cards?  I suggested that we could accept proof of residency via an emailed photograph of a utility bill, create an account in the ILS, and then email back the new card number so the patron could then access our online services.  Our staff seemed receptive but the Board didn't think it would be worth the effort.

The Kern County Library system closed starting Tuesday, March 17th through Monday, April 13th – all staff are on paid emergency administrative leave (yay Kern!).

Staff are working from home for the most part and EVERYONE – from librarians to aides – is pitching in, doing what they do best, through virtual programming on social media. People went bonkers over the virtual ukulele club announcement.

Who knew we were such a talented bunch? Language learning, storytimes, paper crafting & more is pouring out from our social media platforms. 

We extended due dates, suspended all holds & and asked the public to hold on to all materials until after we reopen. The book drops are being emptied regularly for now. We’ve discouraged donations so bookdrops don’t get clogged. (It’s not working, darn it)

WiFi was enabled 24/7 for all branches to allow people to access from their devices.

We’ve upped the limit on our digital resources (doubled our hoopla allowances) & are ordering digital items on a daily basis so we have new content regularly! All other digital resources are being promoted, especially those that support home-centered learning.

We’re issuing e-library cards for Kern residents through a form on our website (staff person vets applicants) so more people can enjoy resources from home.

Even though things look a little bleak, there is so much good we’re discovering about our staff and community we wouldn’t have learned any other way… We’re going to keep looking on the bright side here!