National Library Week (April 19 – 25): Serving Through a Pandemic

It’s National Library Week and we are continuing to serve the public in ways traditional and new. With services now gone remote, we’ve used our ability to quickly change gears and leverage existing technologies and relationships, so we can provide access to resources for all.

“Our staff has spent a lot of energy curating our resources for home education, vital COVID-19 information, entertainment, mental health, senior services, and ways to contribute to the community, among other topics,” says Tim Longo, Access Services Manager. “We’ve really pumped up our communication with Evanstonians to ensure everyone has the right information and ability to access resources. Our librarians are uniquely positioned to help the community as they are trained in finding reliable answers to questions of all types.”

Along with more frequent communications to the public, the Library is promoting quick online Library Card applications prioritized for reaching underrepresented communities. Since March 18, it has seen a surge in applications with more than 550 new cards issued, and more applications coming in everyday.

More great ways we are working for you:

  • Library staff available seven days a week: M-F, 9 am – 7 pm, Sat/Sun 12 pm – 6 pm via phone, email or instant message to answer questions of all kinds from unemployment insurance to business loans to using the digital library.
  • Social worker available Monday thru Friday for support and help with finding services and resources. Social work services also are available in Spanish.
  • Hosting public online book discussions, lectures and activities for adults, including those with disabilities.
  • Soliciting recipes from the community to create a Cozy Evanston Community Cookbook ebook.
  • Children’s staff members providing engaging video stories and songs via YouTube

And more: 

In cooperation with other Evanston entities, the Library is lending expertise for:

  • Curating free educational resources and entertainment sites, highlighting donation opportunities in Evanston, and assisting organizations in their need for volunteers.
  • Working with community partners (YMCA, YOU, Northwestern University, Family Focus, school districts 65 and D202) to develop virtual offerings of STEM activities, mentor hours and social hours for students.
  • Partnering with Northwestern University Office of Community Education Partnerships to curate and align out-of-school STEM opportunities across the community, including Digital Divas and digital music programs using TunePad.

“We don’t know how long this shelter-in-place will go on, but we do want to mitigate the negative impact,” says Longo. “The Library is a focal point of our community for so many reasons.”

 

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