Fiscal year pre-pandemic
Boone County Public Library’s fiscal year ending June 2020 was off to a great start! The Hebron Branch opened on July 29, 2019 utilizing green space and nature with a one-mile StoryWalk, large windows, an amphitheater and a shaded patio. The inside offers early literacy interactives, study rooms, retired adult area, and the Boone Innovation Lab. The Scheben Branch became a passport acceptance agency, study rooms were added to both Florence and Walton and the building which had been the Lents Branch was sold.
BCPL also joined the NKY Forum partnership (Campbell and Kenton County Public Libraries, and Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKY) to host public discussions of public affairs as they relate to NKY. The Forum’s goal is civil, civic discourse and is nonpartisan, having no affiliation with a political party.
In addition, the Library Board entered in an agreement with MSR to do a Facilities Master Plan Study to help the Library plan for the future. This study will help us to identify service priorities for Boone County.
And finally, the Library received a $12,000 grant from the Boone County Early Childhood Fund to pilot a STEM Storytime series. The Local History Department received an award in Arts, Culture and History for the Boone County African American History Project from the National Association of Counties. The department also accepted the Power of Libraries Award from SirsiDynix for the African Americans of Boone County History Project.
Fiscal year during pandemic The Library was on pace to set new records in visits, program attendance, and circulation. And then the pandemic hit closing all physical locations. The
Library had to pivot from 85% in-person services to 100% digital. The website was updated to include resources for education and entertainment. An Instant Digital Card for Kentucky Libraries Unbound and a Digital Library Card for research tools were created. A redesign of the online catalog was launched to easily
identify digital items. Three new research tools were added including Niche Academy and CreativeBug. And Summer Reading was moved entirely online.
After in-person, in-the-building programs were canceled through December, library programming was moved online whenever possible. Storytimes can be viewed on the Library’s YouTube page, although copyright issues limit the time they will be available. Virtual adult programs consist of writer’s groups, D&D games, book discussion groups, etc. And if you follow the Library’s Facebook page, you will receive a notification when we go Live for a program.
The Library conducted a project to document Covid-19, a history in the making. Questions were asked on BCPL’s social media channels. Local History will compile the responses and make them available to the public.
On May 18th, all locations began offering curbside pick-up, a service that was in the works prior to the pandemic. This service will most likely stick around after the “return to normal”. Since browsing the collection was not an option, there was an increase in the Reading Recommendations requests in which teens and adults complete a questionnaire and then BCPL staff create a personalized reading list. Newly developed is the children’s version in which parents fill out the request and BCPL staff create a bundle of up to 10 books on a subject of interest and/or reading level. The forms can be found on BCPL’s website.
Wrapping up the fiscal year
On June 15th, BCPL locations opened their doors with reduced hours due to maximum occupancy and reduced staff. Half the seating and all the toys have been removed and computers spaced for social distancing. Desks are equipped with sneeze guards and masks are required. The meeting rooms remain unavailable as they are being used for storage and quarantining returned items.
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