Paula G.O.'s blog

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 Main Library

Mask Drive Station

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

Wearing a face mask is one of the simplest, most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 and face coverings are required on Library premises. 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.

VITAL Services Online

VITAL Services Online

The global pandemic has closed classroom doors around the world, but adult literacy and language services remain essential during this time of health crisis and uncertainty. According to Proliteracy, over 36 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. Adults lacking these essential skills have increased vulnerability to COVID-19, and are at greater risk for financial instability and other social issues.

Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL) provides learning opportunities for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or English-language skills. In order to safely continue services, VITAL services online provides distance learning opportunities that are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances.

Indiana 2-1-1: 24/7 Confidential and Free Support for Hoosiers

Indiana 2-1-1: Get Connected, Get Help

Adapting to life during the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge. Almost every aspect of daily life, from shopping at a grocery store to visiting the public library, has changed. Many have lost their jobs or are working reduced hours. Some are experiencing food or housing insecurity for the first time. Others have lost loved ones. Uncertain times can feel overwhelming and isolating, especially when you are unable to congregate in the community, and may not know who to turn to in order to ask for support.

Pioneer Grants Fund Adventure Backpacks and Dyslexia-Friendly Library Projects

Adventure Backpacks

Each year the Friends of the Library invites Library employees to submit their enterprising ideas for consideration of a Pioneer Grant. Projects must be innovative and beneficial to the community and lead the way to a knowledgeable, inclusive, and engaged community empowered by the Library. This year two projects were awarded grants.

Adventure Backpacks

Community Engagement Librarians Jen Hoffman and Morning Wilder, and Edwin Fallwell, a Senior Information Assistant, proposed a collection of Adventure Backpacks. In their proposal, the team noted that the backpacks would “facilitate an interactive exploration of nature, the outdoors, and local park and trail systems.”

Adventures Backpacks contain several useful items for your outdoor adventure including identification guides (flowers, trees, birds), and outdoor tools (binoculars, compass, multi-tool, flashlight).

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