Paula G.O.'s blog

All Spaces and Services Open and Available

Marilyn Wood

Dear Patrons,

It’s been a long 16 months, and I’m very excited to announce that our safe and incremental approach to service has been a success. As of July 19, all pre-pandemic spaces and services are open and available to you.

Our community has seen several changes since the onset of the pandemic, many of which were addressed in our 2020 strategic plan.

While some things have changed, many remain the same––particularly, staying true to our mission to strengthen our community and enrich lives by providing equitable and impartial access to information and opportunities to read, learn, connect, and create.

We’ve appreciated your feedback along the way. Patron comments like the following really lifted our spirits during tough times.

iPads and Mobile Video Production Kits Added to the Library of Things

iPad

Did you know the Downtown Library offers unique items for check out like mobile hotspots, energy monitors, book club kits, seeds, toys, and outdoor adventure backpacks? They’re part of our Library of Things!

A Library of Things is a collection of items for loan that expands the boundaries of traditionally defined library materials, meeting the needs of our diverse and growing community.

Beginning May 1, we’re adding two new items to this collection––iPads and Mobile Video Production Kits!

Our cellular-enabled iPads are pre-loaded with apps and programs for everyday use! WiFi access is not needed and iPads come with unlimited data. The collection offers you an opportunity to use something you might not come across otherwise, or to “try before you buy.” This collection is funded by a City of Bloomington Digital Equity Grant.

Barb Fisher, VITAL Volunteer

Barb Fisher

Barbara “Barb” Fisher, a dear friend of the VITAL program, passed away on April 1, 2021. Barb’s love of reading led her to VITAL in 2008, when she participated in training to teach English as a New Language to Bloomington newcomers. Over the next 12 years, Barb was a regular fixture at VITAL. As a one-on-one tutor, she volunteered with nine different English language learners, helping them improve their language skills and confidence while adjusting to life in the US. As an office volunteer, she welcomed new faces at the VITAL front desk and assisted with clerical work. As a Quiz Bowl player, she matched wits with Bloomington’s finest trivia brains, competing under the titles “Infosyndics” and “VITAL Statistics” among other creative monikers. Finally, as a generous donor and supporter, she anonymously sponsored teams and encouraged many to take part in the annual fundraising and advocacy event. Barb was one of a kind, and she was certainly "vital" to us.

April 18–24 is National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank the volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voices to make a difference in our community! We are fortunate to have so many volunteers who are passionate about the Library’s mission and generously share their skills in a variety of long-term and short-term commitments.

Interning at the Library

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

“Despite the challenges presented to all of us in 2020 and beyond, we were excited to find a way to partner again with Bloomington High School North’s internship program. While our opportunities for internships during the pandemic were greatly limited, we created a safe pathway for an internship to take place during this extraordinary time. Our values and goals support experiential learning, with a focus on lifelong learning, inclusiveness, and developing essential life skills. Here at our Library, internships aim to provide valuable career experience, teach important workplace habits, introduce students to new contacts and social connections, and hope their time spent with us is fun and fulfilling. The mutually beneficial support each internship provides to the Library and our constituents is invaluable. Some internships at the Library have brought us talented staff that are now a part of our current team.

Celebrating Diverse Voices

Everyone has a Story

A Note from the Director

Our community is passionate about our Library. You see us as a catalyst for growth and well-being, envisioning the Library as a public space that invites and embraces community support. Our 2021–23 strategic plan centers around diversity, inclusion, and respect. In support of this, we plan to facilitate discussions and provide resources that enrich our community.

Traditionally, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day on at the Library. Each year we invite you and our local partners to join us in honoring the tremendous life and accomplishments of Dr. King. It is also an opportunity to address racial inequities and become a more compassionate and inclusive community.

While we can’t gather in person this year, we hope you’ll join us virtually on MLK Day and beyond as we expand our focus on diversity. 

The Coiled Crown: A Fantasy-Themed Digital Escape Room

The Coiled Crown

Journey into a ruined fantasy world in search of an ancient queen's crown. Inspired by games like Dark Souls, Mortal Shell, and Metroid, you'll need to unearth the forgotten lore of haunted places like the Netherworld Forest, Scorched Keep, and Lost Catacombs in order to solve the adventure's puzzles.

You can attempt this escape room by yourself or as a group. Make sure to read the instructions on the first page of the escape room since it explains how the game is set up. This escape room is intended for teens, but adults can test out their mettle too! Good luck!

Created for the Library by Sersa Victory.

 

Start your adventure

 

 

Free Masks at the Downtown Library

Mask Drive Station

The Downtown Library is home to a community mask station provided by Bloomington Mask Drive! Located in the parking lot entryway, the self-serve station is stocked with free masks for adults and children and can be accessed during open Library hours.

Wearing a face mask is one of the simplest, most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Library is delighted to partner with Bloomington Mask Drive to offer free masks to the community and further its goal to provide a self and welcoming place for all.

Bloomington Mask Drive was founded by Kelly Clark and Nola Hartman, a former MCPL Librarian, with the mission to slow the spread of COVID-19 by providing clean, high-quality, homemade fabric masks to residents of Bloomington and Monroe County free of charge.

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