Paula G.O.'s blog

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).

"Finding Value" Review Series

Finding Value depicting different values

Accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship.

These values are all central to the Library’s mission to strengthen the Monroe County community and enrich lives by providing equitable access to information and opportunities to read, learn, connect, and create. From new programs and collections to new branches, these core values guide the way.

Tween Quaranzine

Call for Submissions

Monroe County tweens (ages 7–11) are invited to contribute to making an online Tween Quaranzine to document how you, the community’s young people, are responding to these strange times of quarantine and social distancing in the face of COVID-19.

To participate, you may contribute an 8.5” x 5.5” page. All ideas that highlight the community and uplift your voices are encouraged and welcome. The Library will accept writing (250 words or less), artwork, comics, photography, recipes, tutorials, and/or a combination of all of these––really anything goes as long as it can be represented on paper. For example, you can make a sculpture but you’d have to photograph it and then share the photo which is what would be used. The Library cannot accept video or audio files.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

A Note from the Director

Recent events of racism and physical violence against Blacks across our country are both frightening and abhorrent. Monroe County Public Library mourns the lost lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more. 

As a trusted community institution, we stand in solidarity with the American Library Association (ALA), the Black Caucus of the ALA, and with Monroe County residents who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. We condemn the systemic and systematic social injustices endured by Black people and people of color and we stand against racism and injustice.

We must all affirm that Black Lives Matter and understand that “all lives matter” is not an appropriate response. We must acknowledge systemic racism and the role that we all play in it––in our homes, our workplaces, and our community organizations.

Going on an Origami Bear Hunt!

The Summer Reading Games are here! Between now and August 1, you can register on Beanstack and play online. There's an app too! Read for fun and complete activities to earn badges and tickets for prize drawings. Activities like this origami bear!

Check out these instructions and follow along with the video to create your own origami bear. After you've made your bear, hang it in your window for others to see. When you go for a walk, look for bears in other people's windows too. How many bears can you find on your bear hunt?

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